"Congress inaction threatens critical doctor-training program", March 05, 2020

Despite clear need, one of the most effective pipelines for producing primary care physicians could end May 22

(East Bay Times) A recent workforce report from the UCSF HealthForce Center projects that by 2030, California will experience a 12% to 17% greater demand for primary care medical services than what currently exists.

This need will be further exacerbated by a projected decrease in the number of primary care physicians in the state due to increasing retirements of older physicians and fewer entering younger physicians. This shortage will not be completely addressed by increasing numbers of primary care nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Despite this clear need, one of the most effective pipelines for producing primary care physicians – the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program – could end on May 22 unless Congress votes to extend it. Support from Congress and President Trump is essential to ensure that we keep this program alive for the medical residents, communities and patients who benefit.

The Teaching Health Center (THC) program was created as part of the Affordable Care Act to increase the residency training of primary care physicians in the community, especially in under-served communities. While most residencies are in hospitals, THCs are based in the community, most often in Federally Qualified Health Centers whose main purpose is to provide care for under-served populations, such as the uninsured and those covered by MediCal. Read more >>

Eric Henley

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