On September 17, 2014, AACOM and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) held an informational briefing on Capitol Hill on the current and future state of graduate medical education (GME). During the briefing, AACOM released its Position Statement on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education report’s recommendations.
The expert panelists who participated in this event provided attendees with different insights into the current status of GME and discussed how Congress could play a role in shaping the future of GME. Speakers included:
- The Honorable Joe Heck (R-NV), DO
- Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO, AACOM
- Robert S. Juhasz, DO, President, AOA
- Charlene MacDonald, Senior Policy Advisor, Senate Budget Committee
- Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs, New York Institute of Technology, Member of the IOM Committee on Governance and Financing of GME
- Keith Egan, DO, Medical Resident at the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, Unity HealthCare, Washington, DC
The briefing highlighted the importance of GME and the role it plays in the physician workforce from the osteopathic perspective. It also focused on the importance of community-based care in providing health care services in a modern health system as well as support for programs, such as the Teaching Health Center GME program, which supports primary care residency training in communities most in need. The majority of the currently THC-funded residency programs are osteopathic or dually-accredited (DO/MD).
The speakers stressed the importance of taking a proactive approach to addressing healthcare workforce needs, including thoroughly assessing the current system and establishing long-term legislative solutions to strengthen the role of GME as an essential part of the U.S. healthcare system. Several presenters also referenced a recent IOM report, Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation's Health Needs, urging Congress to utilize the occasion of the report’s release as an opportunity to prioritize legislative solutions to preserve and strengthen GME that meets the needs of patients and physicians throughout the country.
(From left: Charlene MacDonald; Dr. Keith Egan; Dr. Stephen C. Shannon; Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee; and Dr. Robert S. Juhasz.)
(Not featured: The Honorable Joe Heck (R-NV), DO)