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Meet Michigan's National Champion on GME Issues

MSMS continues to convene stakeholders in the fight to fund graduate medical education (GME) and keep residents here in Michigan, particularly as we face an impending physician shortage. This is especially critical in primary care, which has been a main focus of the MSMS Board of Directors through its Future of Medicine Strategic Plan.

One of those stakeholders is MSMS member Marsha D. Rappley, MD, Dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and Ingham County pediatrician, who was recently selected to lead the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges. This gives Doctor Rappley a great opportunity to influence the national discussion about GME funding and residency caps.

“We may graduate more medical students, but we won’t have more doctors unless we can create more residency programs,” Dean Rappley said in a recent MLive.com article (“MSU medical school Dean Marsha Rappley elected to lead national council of deans,” April 5, 2012).

She will assume the post in November.

One of the ways Dean Rappley has been engaged here in Michigan is by participating in the MSMS ME/GME Task Force, which convenes not only all the medical school deans, but also leaders from organized medicine, hospitals, and state agencies about twice a year. The Task Force addresses issues including residency caps, GME funding, physician supply, and recruitment and retention. Schools involved: Central Michigan University Medical School; Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Oakland University Beaumont School of Medicine; University of Michigan Medical School; Wayne State University School of Medicine; and Western Michigan University School of Medicine.

How Did Michigan Medical Schools Fare in ‘Match Madness’?

Dean Rappley’s work in keeping residents here in Michigan is evident as her school, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, reported that more than a third of the 138 graduates will be staying in Michigan, as per the residency match results in March. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) said 2012 national numbers were at more than 95%, the highest match rate in 30 years.

As for other Michigan med schools, Wayne State University School of Medicine reported a 96% match rate this year, with nearly 60% of the graduates staying in Michigan. University of Michigan Medical School boasted a 99% match rate this year, with 31% of graduates remaining in Michigan.

Funding GME to Prevent the Brain Drain in Michigan

With encouraging rates of students matching to residency programs in Michigan, it is even more important to ensure that there is adequate state funding for GME, which comes out of the Medicaid portion of the Community Health budget. To that end, the Michigan House and Senate appropriations subcommittees last week released their recommendation for the Department of Community Health Budget for the coming fiscal year. The House, in an exciting move for medicine, did not concur with the funding cut in GME and added additional dollars for GME. Although the additional dollars did not make whole the cut GME experienced last year, it is still a positive step forward. The Senate, on the other hand, had a different idea when reporting out the budget, putting placeholders on line items throughout the bill. Now the bills will be sent to the full Senate Appropriation Committee for consideration.

Last year, MSMS, as part of The Partnership for Michigan’s Health—with the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and the Michigan Osteopathic Association—helped to stop cuts to the Medicaid program and to largely restore GME funding in FY 2012. (The governor’s proposed 40% cut to GME was reduced to 9% by the legislature.) Also, the legislature approved a supplemental appropriations bill (HB 5014) introduced by Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Birmingham), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, that restored $8.9 million of $14.7 million that was cut last year from GME.

For more information about GME issues, contact Rebecca Blake at MSMS at 517-336-5729 or rblake@msms.org.

For more information about GME funding and state budget advocacy, contact Colin Ford at MSMS at 517-336-5737 or cford@msms.org.

For more information about the MSMS Resident & Fellow Section, contact Dara Barrera at MSMS at 517-336-5770 or dbarrera@msms.org.

Posted in: Resident & Fellows News

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