Graduate Medical Education
The Policy Debate
Published in: Annual Review of Public Health, v. 22, May 2001, p. 35-47
Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2000
The cost of providing graduate medical education to the approximately 100,000 medical residents in the United States is approximately $18 billion. The government, primarily through the Medicare program, funds almost two thirds of the cost. Unfortunately, the federal government lacks a coherent policy with respect to what objectives it wants to achieve for this expenditure. This article traces (a) the evolution of graduate medical education funding; (b) current proposals to reform the funding mechanism; (c) how the Medicare program currently funds graduate medical education; (d) how funds are allocated to specific institutions; and (e) specific policy objectives that academic medical centers should be held accountable for achieving in return for receiving public funds.