Agency Reports

GAO: Physician Workforce: Locations and Types of Graduate Training Were Largely Unchanged, and Federal Efforts May Not Be Sufficient to Meet Needs

June 2017

The federal government has reported physician shortages in rural areas; it also projects a deficit of over 20,000 primary care physicians by 2025. Residents in graduate medical education (GME) affect the supply of physicians. Federal GME spending is over $15 billion/year.

GAO found that, from 2005-15, residents were concentrated in the Northeast and in urban areas. And, while many trained in primary care, primary care residents often subspecialize in other fields. Federal efforts to increase GME in rural areas and primary care were limited. In 2015, GAO recommended HHS develop a plan for its health care workforce programs—it has yet to do so. Report