Financing graduate medical education to meet the needs of children and the future pediatrician workforce.Pediatrics. 2008 Apr; 121(4):855-61.Ped
This policy statement articulates the positions of the American Academy of Pediatrics on graduate medical education and the associated costs and funding mechanisms. It reaffirms the policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics that graduate medical education is a public good and is an essential part of maintaining a high-quality physician workforce. The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for lifelong learning across the continuum of medical education. This policy statement focuses on the financing of one component of this continuum, namely residency education. The statement calls on federal and state governments to continue their support of residency education and advocates for stable means of funding such as the establishment of an all-payer graduate medical education trust fund. It further proposes a portable authorization system that would allocate graduate medical education funds for direct medical education costs to accredited residency programs on the basis of the selection of the program by qualified student or residents. This system allows the funding to follow the residents to their program. Recognizing the critical workforce needs of many pediatric medical subspecialties, pediatric surgical specialties, and other pediatric specialty disciplines, this statement maintains that subspecialty fellowship training and general pediatrics research fellowship training should receive adequate support from the graduate medical education financing system, including funding from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, as appropriate. Furthermore, residency education that is provided in freestanding children's hospitals should receive a level of support equivalent to that of other teaching hospitals. The financing of graduate medical education is an important and effective tool to ensure that the future pediatrician workforce can provide optimal heath care for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.