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GME Bill introduced in Congress

Legislation to increase the number of residency slots entitled the Training Tomorrow's Doctors Today Act (H.R. 1201) has been introduced by Representatives Aaron Schock, R-Ill., and Allyson Schwartz, D-Penn. The purpose of the legislation is to address the nation's imminent physician shortage. A similar bill entitled Resident Physician Shortage Act (S. 577) was introduced by Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., in the Senate. The bills aim to help meet the nation's increasing demand for new physicians by funding an additional 15,000 Medicare-supported graduate medical education positions over the next five years. The bills use different formulas to allocate the new residency slots, but both pieces of legislation give priority to hospitals that already offer more residency slots than the number for which they receive funding and those in states with new medical schools. The bills also target expansion of residency programs and specialties in which a shortage already exists. In the House Bill, a study by the General Accounting Office is mandated that would assess the competency of the physician workforce to care for older adults upon completion of residency training and submit a report to Congress along with recommendations for any legislation and administrative action necessary to rectify any identified any gaps. AAGP will work with the sponsors of this legislation to advocate for geriatric psychiatry to be included as an identified shortage specialty. more

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