Chicago Tribune’s Bonnie Miller Rubin reports that funding constraints are putting the doctor pipeline in jeopardy, as the U.S. faces a physician shortage that’s expected to grow worse in the coming years. Drawing on the recently published report from the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University, Rubin highlights the need for the Teaching Health Center (THC) Graduate Medical Education program. To address the need for doctors in underprivileged and rural communities, the THC program was established as part of the Affordable Care Act to allocate $230 million dollars over five years to fund residency positions in community-based health settings. More than 90 percent of physicians in the program nationwide are likely to practice in underserved areas when they graduate, compared to less than 25 percent from traditional residency programs. As Rubin reports, if funding for the program is eliminated it will affect not only the number of physicians, but also the number of low-income and working poor patients served.

Chicago Tribune