It is a classic case of bureaucracy where the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. In 1997 the Federal Government’s “Balanced Budget Act” put a freeze on Medicare reimbursement for medical residency training slots. Yet, with a projected doctor shortage of up to 90,000 physicians in the next decade, the number of medical schools was INCREASED. What a surprise! The number of medical schools increased at the same time as the number of required post-graduate training slots was REDUCED! This catastrophe has left more than 40,000 graduate doctors, over the last 5 years alone, with no where to go!!
These unmatched graduate doctors fall into a “limbo” where they cannot complete their training. They cannot obtain a medical license without a residency. They can’t even work as Physician Assistants! Their school loans are due, an average of $180,000, with no viable means of employment. They are in a real “Catch 22”.
And we, the American public, are in for a real surprise as we age with the impending doctor shortage!
This blog is designed to educate the public about this travesty. It is a call to action to those who can help rectify this ongoing catastrophe. The voices who can help include: State and US Legislators, State and National Medical Societies, US and Foreign medical school deans, Residency Directors, Medical students, Physicians, Public Health Departments, and finally the MEDIA.