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December 10, 2014

Value, Social Contracts, and Medical Education

Author Affiliations
  • 1Vice Dean for Education, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
  • 2Deputy Editor, JAMA
JAMA. 2014;312(22):2345-2347. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.15626

In July 2014, the Institute of Medicine released a report recommending a substantial redesign of federal funding for graduate medical education (GME), suggesting that the public deserves better stewardship of the $20 billion it contributes annually to the education of physicians in the United States.1 While in absolute dollars this contribution is significant and vitally important to the institutions that sponsor residency programs, in relative terms this amount represents less than 1% of the total annual US health care expenditures. Thus, the IOM recommendations suggest a new funding model for GME not as a strategy to decrease overall health care expenditures but as an opportunity to increase the value of medical education to the public.

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