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 AAFP represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit
www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).