State University of New York
Staff Study: Graduate Medical Education Physicians train for at least three years in graduate medical education residency programs at teaching hospitals. As a result of the New York State Health Care Reform Act of 1996 as well as certain changes in Medicare funding, significantly less State and Federal funding is available for graduate medical education programs, and the amount of funding will be reduced even further unless teaching hospitals reduce their total number of residents and shift some residents from medical specialties to primary care. We examined whether SUNY's three teaching hospitals (at Brooklyn, Stony Brook and Syracuse) have modified their residency programs in accordance with these changes or made other plans for coping with the reduction in funding. We found that the three hospitals have neither reduced their total number of residents nor shifted residents from specialties to primary care, mainly because SUNY officials believe it would be more costly to replace residents with other personnel and because they believe the types of care provided by resident specialists are needed by the surrounding communities. Officials have not planned how they will absorb or manage the funding reductions.
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