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Academic Urology Training Program in Crisis

Graduate Medical Education funding is inadequate to support urology residency training program

THURSDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- The current system of Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding is not adequate in funding urology residency programs and may lead to a significant shortage of urologists in the United States, according to research published in the March issue of Urology.

Chris M. Gonzalez, M.D., M.B.A., of Northwestern University in Chicago, and Patrick McKenna, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, sent a 32-question survey to members of the Society of University Urologists to identify the most pressing issues facing academic urology training centers.

According to the researchers, for the 143 members who responded, a lack of funding was identified as the main barrier in adding new residency positions (65 percent of respondents), followed by lack of funding to recruit new faculty (60 percent of respondents). Clinical or hospital dollars were often required to fund residency programs (40 percent of respondents) not funded by GME. Research rotations and surgical skills laboratories were also mostly funded by clinical and hospital dollars.

"The current system of GME funding for urology residency programs requires fundamental change as its impact has contributed to a significant shortage in the supply of urologists in the United States," the authors write. "The quality of urology residency training and overall patient access to urologic care are at stake."

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