IOM study finds U.S. medical training may not be meeting needs for care

The comprehensive report calls for major changes in doctor training and points out that it is difficult to track how the $15 billion spent by the federal government is being used.

The Washington Post's Wonkblog: The U.S. Spends $15B A Year To Train Doctors, But We Don't Know What We Get In Return
If you were spending $15 billion, you'd probably want to know what you were getting as a return on that investment. Especially if it was on something as important as the nation's health care. Yet, a new comprehensive report finds that we don't have a good system of tracking the $15 billion the United States spends each year on training new doctors -; a particularly pressing topic as 11,000 baby boomers become Medicare-eligible each day and about 25 million uninsured are projected to gain new coverage in the next few years under the Affordable Care Act. Further, our publicly financed program for training doctors doesn't ensure that the new crop of physicians will be positioned to meet changing demands for care, according to independent experts at the Institute of Medicine (Millman, 7/29).

Kaiser Health News: Expert Panel Recommends Sweeping Changes To Doctor Training System
An expert panel recommended Tuesday completely overhauling the way government pays for the training of doctors, saying the current $15 billion system is failing to produce the medical workforce the nation needs (Rovner, 7/29). 

Bloomberg: Tighter Rules Urged On $15B For Doctor Training
Tighter oversight is needed for more than $15 billion spent yearly on doctor training in the U.S., according to a new report that's already under fire from medical centers that provide the education. The report, by the U.S. Institute of Medicine, calls for per-resident funding based on outcomes that address strategic needs in health care, such as the looming shortage of family doctors in some areas ... The Association of American Medical Colleges, which represents 400 of the nation's more than 1,000 teaching hospitals, opposes the recommendations, saying they would funnel federal dollars away from Medicare patients, and create uncertainty for their members (French, 7/29).

Also, another news story looks at osteopathic medical training -

The New York Times: The D.O. Is In Now
Inside, [the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine] seems indistinguishable from a conventional medical school -; what doctors of osteopathic medicine, or D.O.s, call allopathic, a term that some M.D.s aren't much fond of. A walk through the corridors finds students practicing skills on mannequins hard-wired with faulty hearts. They dissect cadavers. They bend over lab tables, working with professors on their research. And, unlike their allopathic counterparts, they spend roughly five hours a week being instructed in the century-old techniques of osteopathic medicine, manipulating the spine, muscles and bones in diagnosis and treatment (Berger, 7/29).

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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