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Advocacy Press Releases

AACOM Endorses Rural Physician Workforce Production Act of 2021

Legislation provides equitable federal funding for rural residency training to address rural physician shortages.


(Bethesda, MD) – The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) applauds US Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Barrasso (R-WY) for introducing the Rural Physician Workforce Production Act of 2021 (S. 1893). This bipartisan legislation would help address the rural physician shortage by extending key federal support for rural residency training.

“Providing healthcare to underserved areas, including rural America, has long been a priority of the osteopathic medical community,” says AACOM President and CEO Robert A. Cain, DO. “It is well understood that resident physicians who train in rural communities are more likely to stay in those same areas to practice. Investing in rural residency training is a vital component of addressing the rural physician shortage.”

Over the past three years, nearly half of osteopathic medical school graduates indicated their plans to practice in a rural or underserved area. Colleges of osteopathic medicine consistently achieve top rankings in rural and underserved practice categories.

“Lifting residency training caps as proposed by S. 1893 would eliminate a significant disadvantage to rural hospitals in recruiting residents,” says AACOM Vice President of Government Relations David Bergman, JD. “Removing these caps and extending equitable residency training funding to rural hospitals, including critical access hospitals and sole community hospitals, as well as urban hospitals that train residents in rural locations, is an important step toward advancing rural health.”


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) leads and advocates for the full continuum of osteopathic medical education to improve the health of the public. Founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, AACOM represents all 37 colleges of osteopathic medicine—educating nearly 31,000 future physicians, 25 percent of all US medical students—at 58 teaching locations in 33 US states, as well as osteopathic graduate medical education professionals and trainees at US medical centers, hospitals, clinics and health systems.


Joseph Shapiro
AACOM Director of Media Relations
(240) 938-0746

Christine DeCarlo
AACOM Media and Public Affairs Manager
(202) 603-1026

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