Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has announced that he will seek legislation to increase the number of doctors being trained in the U.S.
Sanders, who is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, announced last week that he’ll introduce legislation to add 14,000 Medicare graduate medical education slots over seven years, potentially training thousands of new doctors each year.
As chairman of that subcommittee he is perfectly placed to get legislation introduced and sent to the Senate floor for a vote.
According to Bloomberg News, “Public health groups say the U.S. faces a shortage of at least 54,000 primary care and specialty doctors over the next decade.
“Sanders said his legislation would reserve half of the new slots to train new primary care doctors.
“David J. Skorton, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), said his group has asked for 3,000 slots to be added each year to Medicare’s graduate education program. That program, along with others, pays hospitals to train medical school graduates to become doctors.”
The U.S. is facing a doctor shortage because the 65-and-older population grew by over a third (13,787,044 people) during the past decade, putting pressure on the U.S. health system. At the same time, 40% of active physicians will reach 65 in the next 10 years, putting many into retirement, according to AAMC data.
This is important legislation that must be passed soon since it takes many years to fully train doctors. TSCL looks forward to reviewing Senator Sanders’ bill when it is introduced.