AAFP Praises Call for Much-Needed GAO Report on Graduate Medical Education

Monday, Aug. 10, 2015

Statement attributable to:
Robert Wergin, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Reps. Kevin Brady’s and Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ request that the Government Accountability Office study and report on graduate medical education financing is a vital first step towards ensuring that federal tax dollars are invested in producing a physician workforce that meets the nation’s needs.

“The American Academy of Family Physicians has long called for GME reforms that would train the specialties that are best positioned to increase the quality and efficiency of health care. For a decade, research has proven those specialists are primary care physicians. We’ve also advocated for funding of physician training such as teaching health centers, which – again – have been shown to increase the number of physicians in rural and underserved areas.

“Despite that research and abundant evidence from the Council on Graduate Medical Education, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Institute of Medicine, none of these reforms have taken place. The GAO report requested by Reps. Brady and McMorris Rodgers and 25 other members of the U.S. House will help lay the groundwork for concrete Congressional action to build a physician workforce that truly meets Americans’ needs.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Wergin, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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