Jul 23, 2014

The Kansas City Star Newspaper Publishes Our Op-Ed on Access to Health Care, Physician Shortage

As we are all aware, the United States is currently facing a shortage of physicians that contributes to difficulties patients face in accessing health care. It is a problem that will only worsen over time, unless we address the cap on graduate medical education (GME) funding.

The Kansas City Star published an article July 22 in its “As I See It” column that I submitted on behalf of our University regarding access to health care and the looming shortage of physicians, especially in primary care.

Medical schools can address the initial education of physicians, as we have already done by increasing the size of incoming classes at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Our College of Osteopathic Medicine will welcome 270
first-year students next week, making it the largest class size in the region.

GME is primarily funded through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). A report on GME governance and funding is due from the Institute of Medicine in the next few weeks, and will likely make some difficult recommendations.

Solving the problems that have plagued our GME system for nearly two decades will take a team effort. The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences stands ready to assist in making the changes necessary to help our own graduates fulfill their career goals, while also increasing patients’ access to health care in the future. Please consider what you can also do to become part of the solution.