The age of the active

Graduate Medical Education Positions

In the April issue of the GME e-Letter, we looked at the 2011 Match data and noted "a worrisome tightening in the number of Scramble positions available for both seniors and prior graduates of US allopathic and osteopathic medical schools. The bottom line? A growing number of US medical school graduates are being denied a residency that leads to initial board certification."

In response, we received the following responses from e-Letter readers (identifying information removed).

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The word "denied" implies entitlement. Are all medical school graduates entitled to a residency education? Is every US medical school graduate entitled to a residency education in their chosen medical specialty field? Surely that is not what the AMA believes, but "denied" surely implies exactly that. This brings up several issues that have been burning in me, and provides the opportunity for me to express (vent) my concerns.

Firstly, there is a certain "entitlement" attitude that is creeping and growing in our nation. We are no longer a people that believe that working hard is the way to success. Success is an entitlement we have somehow retroactively read into our Bill of Rights. Our kids no longer fail at school, and games no longer have winners and losers, and everybody must be successful, even if they do nothing to deserve it.

Perhaps the e-Letter should have noted that "A growing number of US medical school graduates failed to recognize that excessive reimbursements to medical specialists at the expense of primary care physicians and growing time demands and paperwork/insurance hassles/denials and prior authorizations have lead to a health care system spiraling out of control while failing to meet patient needs and, in doing so, these graduates chose to apply foolishly to only the highest paid and best-work-hours specialties while ignoring what their future patients, our country and our health care system really need." Maybe he could throw in a little "US medical schools fail to educate their graduates on the health care needs for the future." Or maybe they do recognize where the need is, but are unwilling to be a part of the solution. Maybe they are motivated by greed or "lifestyle" issues.

Report Touches Off Fight Over Doc Training $$  — MedPage Today
.. 45,000 primary care and 46,000 specialty physicians in the U.S. by 2020, the report provides no clear solution to increasing the overall number of graduate medical education positions to ensure there are enough physicians to meet actual workforce ..

AMA Urges Continued Support for Adequate Graduate Medical Education ..  — American Medical Association
"Despite the fact that workforce experts predict a shortage of more than 45,000 primary care and 46,000 specialty physicians in the U.S. by 2020, the report provides no clear solution to increasing the overall number of graduate medical education ..

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