Graduate Medical Education and the Orthopaedic Workforce

Julie Balch Samora, MD, PhD, MPH, and Atul Grover, MD, PhD

The U.S. healthcare environment is continually changing—from the activity levels of patients, rollbacks in retirement age, and an aging society burdened with chronic diseases, to the implementation of innovative, quality-focused models of healthcare delivery—and the country is facing physician shortages in both primary and specialty care. Meanwhile, federal funding for academic medical centers continues to decrease with new cuts directed at graduate medical education (GME).

Understanding how GME is funded and what the needs for healthcare services are is important to ensure proper distribution of these limited but vital funds, especially among specialty fellowships and primary care residencies. The demand for orthopaedic services is on the rise, but the training for the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons is at risk.

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