The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020, added 1,000 new Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) positions. This is the first time the number of Medicare-covered GME spots has increased in 25 years.
The United States is facing a projected physician shortage of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians by 2033, and the COVID19 pandemic has only put more pressure on the physician workforce as physicians and providers have mobilized across the country to respond to this public health emergency.
These slots are critical to helping ensure a workforce to care for patients and communities. The preference is for hospitals in rural areas, hospitals that are already training residents over their Medicare caps and other hospitals in professional shortage areas. Facilities will need to apply for the additional spots.
AAPM&R has long supported an expansion of GME spots though sign-on letters and grassroots campaigns. We've joined more than 80 other associations, specialty societies and members of the GME Advocacy Coalition in thanking Congressional leadership for investing in physician training.