Future Direction of U.S. Graduate Medical Education Is Focus of Grant to IOM

Macy Foundation Helps Foot the Bill for Comprehensive GME Study

April 18, 2012 01:45 pm News Staff

The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has announced that it has awarded $750,000 to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study the governance and financing of graduate medical education(www.nationalacademies.org) (GME) in the United States. The grant comes in response to the current state of GME in the United States, which, according to a Macy Foundation press release(macyfoundation.org), has fallen behind the overall needs of the country's health care system and, more specifically, the individual health care needs of the public.

[Stock photo of young female student]

The Macy Foundation grant represents about half of the funding needed to conduct the study. The remainder of the monies will be provided by other public and private entities. An 18-member panel appointed by the IOM is expected to launch the study in June and complete its work in the spring of 2014. Panel members will scrutinize current regulation, financing, content governance and organization of GME and make recommendations on how to modify the current GME system, with the end goal of creating a physician workforce sufficient to meet society's future needs.

According to Macy Foundation President George Thibault, the current GME model has served the country and the world well, but it now needs to evolve rapidly to keep up with an explosion of change.

"We hope the IOM study will provide a roadmap that helps move us closer toward a graduate medical education system that ensures an effective physician workforce for the future," said Thibault.

The IOM study represents another step in an ongoing effort by the Macy Foundation, the Association of Academic Health Centers and other GME stakeholders to push reform. A conference of experts held in October 2010 and another in May 2011 produced reports and recommendations on how to go about reforming GME in the United States.