The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2017 (H.R.
2267) — a bill introduced in the U.S. House on May 1, 2017 — aims to address
the projected physician shortage in both primary and specialty care. The legislation was introduced by Rep.
James Crowley (D-NY) and co-sponsored by Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA
As introduced, the legislation will help address the
shortage of resident physician training opportunities by providing funding for
an additional 15,000 Medicare-supported graduate education positions over five
years. The number of Medicare-funded resident and fellow slots has not been
increased since 1997.
The American Medical Association (AMA) has gone on the
record in favor of the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act. James Madara,
MD, CEO/EVP of the AMA, sent a
letter to Rep. Costello, offering the AMA’s support on behalf of its
physician and medical student members.
“Workforce experts predict that the U.S. will face a
significant physician shortage for both primary care and specialty physicians
over the next 10 years if training positions are not expanded,” wrote Dr.
Madara. “Yet, while new medical schools are opening and existing medical
schools are increasing their enrollments to meet the need for more physicians,
federal support for residency positions is still subject to this outdated cap.”
The Pennsylvania Medical Society continues to be a proponent
of increasing the number of residency slots in the commonwealth in order to
ensure that the state’s health care needs are adequately addressed.