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Lydia Conlay Responds to Lack of Medical Residencies, Educational Gap for Medical School Graduates

Columbia, Missouri (PRWEB) March 21, 2013

Lydia Conlay, who currently serves as the Russell D. And Mary B. Shelden Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Missouri College of Medicine, has long been a proponent of medical education and training. A recent article posted by Physicians News Digest that highlights the fact that there are not enough residencies for medical school graduates naturally caught her eye. She here responds to the article by highlighting the manner in which budget cuts to Medicare are threatening the residency program as a whole and, ultimately, reducing the ability of professionals within the healthcare industry to provide proper care for their patients.

According to the article, there is a major gap between the number of students who are graduating medical schools and the number of required residencies that are available, meaning that all students are not going to have the opportunity to continue their education and, as a result, their career. A shortage of physicians was projected several years ago, and medical schools increased the number of students they accepted to prepare for the event; however, the article notes, residency programs have not followed suit.

"Graduate medical education, from medical schools to residency programs, is partially subsidized by the government through Medicare, making it vulnerable to cuts to the federal program," the article explains. "Medicare payments cover 21 percent of the cost incurred to train interns and residents, but teaching hospitals absorb the rest. If the scheduled budget cuts from sequestration go into effect next month, some say the physician shortage in the US could go from bad to worse because fewer doctors will complete residency, and thereby, their training."

"It is unfortunate that funding for the training of medical residents is imperiled by pending budget cuts to Medicare," asserts Lydia Conlay. "Resident physicians are a vital access point for many patients, particularly the poor and patients who are critically ill. According to officials from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or ACGME, the organization that oversees residency programs throughout the US, this limit on the number of training positions for resident physicians would reduce the ratio of physicians to the population they serve to below most of the developed world by 2020. A shortage of physicians was projected even before these cuts may have taken effect. Let's hope that the bill introduced by Reps. Schock (R-IL) and Schwartz (D-PA) lifting the limit or 'cap' on the number of training positions is successful!"


Lydia Conlay is the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Missouri College of Medicine. Over the course of her career, Lydia Conlay has accepted many positions in the field of academic medicine, including those regarding teaching in both the classroom and hospital settings. Lydia Conlay is also a published researcher and a member of numerous highly regarded professional organizations, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Association of University Anesthesiologists, Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists, and Society for Ambulatory Anesthesiologists.

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