AACOM-Supported Bill Funding Rural Clinical Rotations Introduced in House of Representatives
Published February 06, 2024
News Press Release
Bipartisan legislation would expand community-based training in medically underserved communities
(Bethesda, MD) – Today, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) applauds the introduction of the Community Training, Education, and Access for Medical Students (Community TEAMS) Act of 2024. Led by U.S. Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV) and Annie Kuster (D-NH), this bipartisan bill would create a new Health Resources and Services Administration grant program that funds medical school clinical rotations in rural and underserved areas.
“We are grateful to Representatives Miller and Kuster for their leadership in prioritizing medical student training in community-based settings, where more than 80 percent of patient care is delivered,” said AACOM President and CEO Robert A. Cain, DO. “With 64 percent of colleges of osteopathic medicine requiring clinical rotations in rural and underserved areas, and 43 percent of graduating 2021-2022 osteopathic medical students intending to practice in underserved communities, this bill will have a significant impact on future osteopathic physicians and the patients they’ll serve.”
“Americans in rural communities deserve the same quality of healthcare treatment as patients in more populated areas,” said Congresswoman Miller. “The Community TEAMS Act gives medical students the ability to adapt to medical challenges that may arise while serving in rural communities and provides them with opportunities to practice medicine in the rural workforce. By training medical students in underserved areas of our country, we are laying the foundation for better health care in the U.S.”
“Rural communities in New Hampshire and across the country are in desperate need of doctors and health care workers – Congress must do more to incentivize medical students to move to underserved areas after they graduate,” said Rep. Kuster. “I am proud to help introduce the Community Training, Education, Access for Medical Students (TEAMS) Act to increase the number of medical training sites in our rural communities, prepare doctors for the unique challenges of serving high-need populations, and bring more well-trained physicians to underserved areas.”
Eighty percent of physician training is currently done in academic hospitals, yet large academic medical centers represent only five percent of all U.S. hospitals and only 20 percent of all hospital admissions. With more than 75 percent of medical schools reporting concerns about the number of clinical training sites, especially in primary care, the Community TEAMS Act will be vital in expanding crucial training opportunities where patient care is most concentrated and physician shortages are most pronounced.
Founded in 1898, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) is the leading voice for the education and training of physicians who practice osteopathic medicine in settings across the medical spectrum—from primary care to the full range of medical specialties. We support our member colleges of osteopathic medicine in their efforts to attract and train individuals who are fueled by a desire to make a difference in our healthcare system by treating the whole person and building a future emphasizing health and wellness for all people. Today, more than 35,000 future physicians—25 percent of all U.S. medical students—are being educated at one of our 41 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine, encompassing 66 teaching locations in 35 states. To learn more about AACOM, please visit our website.
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