MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Primary Care or Invasive Cardiology?

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine tomorrow by John K. Iglehart examines the policies under which Medicare supports Graduate Medical Education (GME). Medicare provides significant financial support for the training of residents through GME programs.

"An increasing number of medical-school graduates pursue specialties with a controllable lifestyle and shun careers in primary care..."

Not surprisingly, much of this decision making has to do with salaries and work hours. Illustrated by the 2006 graph above, specialists earn more than primary care providers and often enjoy more manageable work hours.

Even though allopathic US medical schools are increasing enrollment until 2015, many experts are still concerned about a looming doctor shortage. This may increase the liklihood of GME reform in the future.

"Advocates of primary care practitioners believe that nothing short of a major overhaul of economic incentives would attract more medical-school graduates to pursue careers as general physicians."

Click Here to read the abstract.