AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the reintroduction of the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021, which aims to increase federal support for physicians’ graduate medical education (GME) programs:
“The AAMC commends U.S. Representatives Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) for reintroducing legislation that would help expand the physician workforce and address the estimated shortage of 54,100-139,000 doctors by the year 2033. The bipartisan bill, along with companion legislation introduced in the Senate last week, aims to expand the number of federally-supported medical residency positions by 2,000 annually for seven years, which would directly address the growing physician shortage and improve health care access for all.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the vital role that physicians and all health care providers play in our nation’s health care infrastructure and has laid bare the need for a more robust number of physicians to provide appropriate patient care to communities across the country. This bill builds upon the historic investment made in December 2020 when bipartisan congressional leaders took the first step, in over two decades, to address the physician shortage by adding 1,000 new Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) positions targeted at rural and other teaching hospitals nationwide.
We look forward to working with Representatives Sewell, Katko, Suozzi, Davis, and other congressional leaders to help ensure access to health care for all by taking steps to alleviate the doctor shortage, diversify the health care workforce, and bolster our nation’s health care infrastructure.”