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Financing Radiology Graduate Medical Education: Today’s Challenges

Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jacr.2005.10.004
  • Radiology Residency
  • Educational Costs
  • Education Funds
  • Education
  • Medicine


Radiology graduate medical education (GME) is exposed to huge financial challenges. First, there is a continuous increase in demand for imaging services by referring doctors and the general population, aggravating the staff shortage. Second, there has been an important decline in reimbursements. Third and probably most important is the progressive reduction of federal funds subsidizing GME. Medicare is the largest single contributor to GME. The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 introduced reductions in Medicare payments to the major teaching hospitals calculated at $5.6 billion over the first 5 years after implementation. The BBA also brought other changes directly affecting GME. Financial changes in health care over the past decade have increased the pressure on academic institutions, which must preserve or improve the quality of training and the quality of care and manage an increased workload with fewer funds available and a narrow margin for errors. Yet the use of new technology promises to help simplify processes, decreasing workloads for residents and faculty members and increasing overall productivity, and new sources of funding have been suggested. By reviewing the financial challenges of radiologic training in today’s academic centers, the authors reach the conclusion that there is still space for improving academic quality and the quality of care within current financial boundaries. But more reliable data about the specific benefits and drawbacks of having a residency program in a clinical radiology department are required.

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