House: Expand federal funding for residencies in ambulatory settings
The AOA House of Delegates approved a resolution on Saturday directing the AOA to advocate for federal funding of primary care residencies in ambulatory settings. Currently, almost all government-funded residencies are hospital-based.
Proposed by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, the resolution originally applied just to family medicine but was broadened to all primary care specialties at the suggestion of Jack D. Bragg, DO, the president of the American College of Osteopathic Internists.
Some delegates would’ve liked to have seen the resolution widened even further. “I agree with the emphasis on primary care and other specialties that are outpatient-based,” said Clinton E. Adams, DO, of California during an AOA Board of Trustees’ meeting a few days before the House convened. “The whole movement today is toward primary care. But we must not forget our brethren who aren’t well-funded either.”
Although it had some support, the proposal to expand the resolution did not survive committee review in the interest of leveraging the federal government’s commitment to strengthen primary care.
In a related action, the House passed a resolution calling on the AOA to “study, develop and promote” nongovernmental methods of funding graduate medical education. The Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California submitted the measure in light of Medicare’s proposed funding cuts to GME and the need for additional AOA-approved residency programs to accommodate the surge in DO graduates. The House passed the resolution without debate.