GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION
An appropriate supply of well-educated and trained physicians is an essential element
to ensure access to quality health care services for all Americans. And while medical
schools in the U.S. have increased their enrollments and additional medical and
osteopathic schools have been established, the number of Medicare-funded resident
positions has been capped by law at 1,996 levels. Through the continued advocacy of the
AANS, policymakers are beginning to understand that there are significant shortages of
physicians in both primary and specialty care. Working with the Association of American
Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Alliance of Specialty Medicine and others, the AANS
successfully advocated for the introduction of legislation to provide additional Medicare
funding for graduate medical education (GME), including the introduction of the Resident
Physician Shortage Reduction Act (H.R. 2124/S. 1148) and the Training Tomorrow’s
Doctors Today Act (H.R. 4774). Momentum continues to grow for both bills, which would
expand Medicare funding for an additional 15,000 slots over a five-year period.
Beyond the legislative efforts, Neurosurgery Blog hosted GME awareness month. To
maximize attention on GME and physician workforce issues, the AANS planned this
initiative around Match Day, which occurred on March 18, 2016. Dubbing March as
“GME Month,” organized neurosurgery launched the hashtag #gmemonth on Twitter.
Neurosurgery Blog and other communication outlets focused on GME-related topics
throughout the month, with multiple guest blog posts from Atul Grover, MD, executive
vice president of the AAMC, and Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), vice chair of the House
Democratic Caucus and a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
AANS/CNS Washington Committee chair, Shelly D. Timmons, MD, PhD,
FAANS, and AANS/CNS Communications and Public Relations Committee
vice chair, Clemens M. Schirmer, MD, PhD, FAANS, with Sen. Roy Blunt
(R-Mo.) at the Alliance of Specialty Medicine’s 2016 legislative conference in
Geoffrey T. Manley, MD, PhD, FAANS, past chair of the AANS/CNS Section
on Neurotrauma and Critical Care with House Energy and Commerce
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chair, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.).
Dr. Manley testified at a committee hearing on concussions.