CMSS Announces Position Recommending Increased Financial Support for GME Funding

December 11, 2012

Chicago, IL – The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) today announced its position recommending increased financial support for Graduate Medical Education (GME) and expansion of the number of GME trainee positions be based on the needs of the United States population for its physician workforce. CMSS believes that it is in the best interests of the public that GME in the United States be supported to meet the nation’s needs for its physician workforce. Recent reports issued by the Council of Graduate Medical Education and the Association of American Medical Colleges recommended that current levels of GME funding be preserved, and additional positions be created, with reports soon to be issued by the Institute of Medicine and a National Workforce Commission.

"There currently exists a diversity of perspectives on how GME funding should be changed in the future," said Dr. Perry Pugno, Co-Chair of the CMSS Workforce Leads. "While the nation continues to struggle with unmet needs in healthcare access, quality and cost control, and with 30 million more insured people moving into the healthcare system, now is not the time to cut the number of GME positions."

"The system of GME funding that exists today in the United States is based on a limited number of sources for payment, with the primary sources being through Medicare and Medicaid," said Dr. Joseph Gilhooly, Chair of the Organization of Program Directors Associations. "The nation needs a stable GME financing mechanism in order to effectively address the unmet healthcare needs of the American population, particularly in rural and urban underserved communities."

"CMSS believes that while there is a strong case for continued public support for GME, financing of GME is too focused on Medicare and Congress must consider all payers to effectively address the needs of patients," stated Dr. Norman Kahn, Executive Vice President and CEO of CMSS. "Collaboration among the entire medical community is needed to address the financing and training of the nation’s physician workforce."

The position statement was adopted by the CMSS Council during their recent Annual Meeting of the 39-member organization. CMSS hosted a conference on May 10, 2012 on the Financing of Graduate Medical Education in the United States. The proceedings from the conference form the background for the policy position and serve as a blueprint for the future of GME funding.

About CMSS
Founded in 1965, CMSS was created to provide an independent forum for the discussion by medical specialists of issues of national interest and mutual concern. Today, CMSS represents thirty-nine societies with an aggregate membership of 700,000 US physicians. Its main purpose is to provide a forum for collaboration to influence policy, medical education and accreditation from a broad, cross-specialty perspective. CMSS is the unified voice for specialty societies established to improve the United States’ healthcare system and health of the public. For more information, visit CMSS at www.cmss.org.

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