29th August 2012
With a shortage of doctors in the U.S. already and millions of new patients set to gain coverage under President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, American medical schools are struggling to close the gap.
One major reason: The residency programs to train new doctors are largely paid for by the federal government, and the number of students accepted into such programs has been capped at the same level for 15 years. Medical schools are holding back on further expansion because the number of applicants for residencies already exceeds the available positions, according to the National Resident Matching Program, a 60-year-old Washington-based nonprofit that oversees the program.
If there’s a shortage, government is behind it.