Sunday, August 4, 2013

U.S. medical school enrollment is increasing faster than residency positions

...and if you draw the lines, you can see when we might crossover from importing new doctors to exporting them.  Here's an article in the NEJM on recent trends:

The Residency Mismatch, by John K. Iglehart

"After two decades (1980 to 2000) when the number of U.S. medical school graduates remained steady (about 16,000 annually), a burst of activity has led to the expansion of existing medical schools, the development of new ones, and rapid growth of colleges of osteopathy. In 2002, there were 125 U.S. medical schools; today, there are 141, and about one third of the recent growth in enrollment derives from new schools.
"... federal funding is a key factor limiting the number of GME positions, which, in contrast to medical school seats, has increased remarkably slowly — at an annual rate of 0.9% from 2001 through 2010.2 The major stumbling block over the past 15 years has been a payment cap that Congress imposed on Medicare's funding of advanced training in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Medicare is the primary supporter of GME programs..."

HT: Ran Shorrer

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