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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

About The Residency Shortage


Imagine there is a projected teacher shortage of 90,000 teachers over the next decade.  Pretend that you wanted to be a teacher and attended a teacher’s college.  You have only 1 requirement left to fulfill, STUDENT TEACHING.  Assume that in spite of the projected teacher shortage, the Education Budget is cut nationally, which results in a limited supply of student teaching positions.  Without student teaching you can’t get your teaching credential.  Imagine that over the last 5 years alone, there were more than 40,000 students unable to find a student teaching assignment. They would have had to give up on a teaching career, find another job, and begin paying their student loans.  How could such a bureaucratic slip-up occur in view of the projected upcoming teacher shortage???

Well, this is exactly what is currently happening in Medical Education!  There is a projected shortage of 90,000 doctors over the next decade.  Over 40,000 doctors in the last 5 years ALONE have been UNABLE to match into a required residency.  They cannot complete the last step required for a Medical License!  They have to leave Medicine. After being accepted into Med School, 4 years of hard work, passing board exams, and graduating with an MD Degree, they now have to look for other work and begin repaying an average of $183,000 in student loans. 

 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!!

 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