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Dr. Shannon Explores How U.S. GME System Can Better Serve Society’s Changing Health Needs at Health Affairs Briefing  

AACOM was honored to join a wide spectrum of partners and healthcare stakeholders during the Wednesday, September 10 Health Affairs briefing on governance and financing of graduate medical education (GME), which took place at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Speakers, who included AACOM President and CEO Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, addressed how the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recent recommendations can empower the GME system to more effectively meet the changing health needs of society, primarily by training a physician workforce that provides focused, population-based, preventive care.

The IOM’s recommendations recognize the need for the GME system to:

  • Produce more physicians
  • Provide sustainable funding as an entitlement
  • Develop a stronger policy, research, and implementation infrastructure
  • Offer a mechanism to strengthen community-based primary care training
  • Acknowledge and support accountability and innovation

Dr. Shannon discussed the importance of GME to the U.S. healthcare system, and highlighted important issues of change called-for in the IOM report that were consistent with the changes needed in the GME system. He explained why increasing the number of practice-ready, culturally competent primary care doctors and supporting non-primary care specialty workforce needs can help ensure the GME pipeline enhances delivery of care to underserved populations. Dr. Shannon also shared concerns about potential ramifications around a transition to the IOM-proposed system, including the possible net loss of funding for GME; lack of recognition of increased funding needed to replace the fiscal cliff funding loss of teaching health center (THC) programs; and the risk of destabilization and politicization of the system in the process of change.

Other expert speakers included (in the order they presented):

  • John K. Iglehart, Founding Editor, Health Affairs
  • George E. Thibault, MD, President, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation
  • Gail R. Wilensky, PhD, Senior Fellow, Project HOPE, and Co-Chair of the IOM Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education
  • Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP, President and CEO, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education;
  • Steven H. Lipstein, MD, MHA, President and CEO, BJC HealthCare
  • Debra F. Weinstein, MD, Vice President for Graduate Medical Education, Partners Healthcare System
  • David Sklar, MD, Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education Emeritus, University of New Mexico, and Editor, Academic Medicine
  • Edward S. Salsberg, MPA, Research Faculty, School of Nursing and the School of Public Health, George Washington University
  • Atul Grover, MD, PhD, Chief Public Policy Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Christopher Dawe, Former Advisor to President Obama and U.S. Senate Finance Committee
  • Glenn Hackbarth, JD, MA, Chair, Medicare Payment Advisory Committee
  • Bruce C. Vladeck, PhD, Senior Advisor, Nexera

We look forward to continuing an ongoing, robust dialogue around these critical issues as we collaboratively explore strategies to optimize the patient outcomes across diverse populations within the U.S. healthcare system through the U.S. GME pipeline.

For more information on this event, including an audio recording of the event and speaker slides, visit the Health Affairs website.

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September 2014
Vol. 8, No. 9