Graduate Medical Education (GME)

The United States is facing a serious shortage of physicians, largely due to a growing and aging population and the continuing retirement of older physicians.

Medicare is the primary public source of funding for graduate medical education (GME). Medicare funding helps offset the stipends paid to residents, the costs of supervision, and the increased costs associated with operating teaching programs. As part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, a hospital-level cap was placed on Medicare support for GME which has stymied significant increases in residency training, creating a bottleneck for the physician workforce.

In 2020, a broad bipartisan coalition of members of Congress representing diverse districts, states, and communities worked together to provide 1,000 new Medicare-supported GME positions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021– the first increase of its kind in nearly 25 years. This increase in residency positions was an important initial investment and first step, but more is needed to help ensure a diverse physician workforce and that patients throughout the country can access the primary and specialty care they need.

With the potential for a large-scale, impending doctor shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, the AAMC Action community fights to protect and expand GME funding, and advocates for bipartisan legislation to add federally supported residency positions.

Read AAMC Action Member Stories

The looming physician shortage will affect patient care, medical education, and more. We’ve collected stories from AAMC Advocates on why they support the expansion of GME funding and federally-supported residency positions. You can read these stories and share your own experience through the link below.