Graduate Medical Education has for the most part escaped big budget cuts in the past, mainly because powerful lawmakers have aligned to protect funding for teaching hospitals in their own states and districts. Plus, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American College of Physicians, hospital organizations, and many others long have made funding for GME a top legislative priority.
GME, though, could be on the chopping block as Congress’s new “Super Committee” comes up with recommendations to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. A report from the Congressional Budget Office of options to reduce the deficit to suggests that $69.4 billion could be saved over the next decade by consolidating and reducing GME payments. Earlier this year, the bipartisan Fiscal Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform also proposed trimming GME payments.
How then should those who believe that GME is a public good respond? One way is to circle the wagons and just fight like heck to stop the cuts. But that raises a basic question: is GME so sacrosanct that there shouldn’t be any discussion of its value and whether the current financing structure is effective and sustainable?
Another approach, the one taken by the ACP in a position paper released last week, is to Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*
Although nearly 70% of medical specialties saw increases in compensation in 2010, increases were marginal, reports the American Medical Group Association’s 2011 Medical Group Compensation and Financial Survey.
Primary care specialties saw about a 2.6% increase in 2010, while other medical specialties averaged an increase of 2.4% and surgical specialties averaged around 3.8%. Specialties with the largest increases in compensation were allergy (6.38%), emergency medicine (6.37%), and hospitalist-internal medicine (6.29%).
In comparison, in 2009, primary care and surgical specialties saw about a Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*
The total debt cost of medical school has become obnoxious. When I started medical school 15 years ago this month, I took out approximately $2,000 a month in loans. $1,000 a month for all living expenses, including food, rent, utilities and entertainment and $1,000 a month for tuition and related expenses. I got out of medical school with just under $110,000 in loans for which I am currently paying back at a rate of $500 month for 30 years.
I learned the other day that a family medicine resident recently completed medical school with almost $250,000 in medical school loans. Family medicine? $250,000? Are you crazy? If that resident can lock in a 30 year loan at 3.5%, they’re looking at monthly payments of $1,200 a month for the rest of their lives. With current tax rates, this family resident will need to earn at least Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*