IOM report calling medical education reform could set up major battle over funding

The report, which says the $15 billion spent annually to train doctors is failing, could lead to congressional battles and rivalries among doctors' groups.

The Fiscal Times: Gov't Spends $15 Billion To Train Incompetent Doctors
The government spends about $15 billion every year on physician training programs that a panel of highly respected medical experts says may not actually be producing quality doctors. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report this week concluding that the current system is failing and must be reformed. "A variety of surveys indicate that recently trained physicians in some specialties cannot perform simple procedures often required in office-based practice and lack sufficient training and experience in care coordination, team-based care and quality improvement," the report said (Ehley, 7/31).

Kaiser Health News: Report Touches Off Fight Over Future Of Doctor Training Program
A high-level report recommending sweeping changes in how the government distributes $15 billion annually to subsidize the training of doctors has brought out the sharp scalpels of those who would be most immediately affected. The reaction also raises questions about the sensitive politics involved in redistributing a large pot of money that now goes disproportionately to teaching hospitals in the Northeast U.S. All of the changes recommended would have to be made by Congress (Rovner, 7/30).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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