Comprehensive healthcare reform legislation should include language to boost the number of medical residencies, representatives from the Association of American Medical Colleges said during a teleconference.
The AAMC held the teleconference to support a bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that would increase the number of Medicare-supported training positions for medical residents by 15% or approximately 15,000 slots.
Any healthcare reform effort should include the language thats in this bill and lift a cap that has been around for the past decade on the number of graduate medical education or residency positions, said Atul Grover, the AAMCs chief advocacy officer. We already have a serious shortage in doctors and not just in primary care, said Grover, adding that the legislation could produce as many as 4,000 new residents per year until 2015.
The bill would also change existing rules to enable residents to train in nonhospital settings such as physician offices, community health centers and other ambulatory-care sites. Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.).