The Future of Military Graduate Medical Education
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Military Graduate Medical EducationGME has been a source of controversy ever since its inception. Great debate has swirled around its value and costs to the military. In spite of this, since its meager beginnings after WWI, it has grown steadily to now encompass approximately 30 of the physician staffing of the military. Most would agree that Graduate Medical Education is critical for retention and preservation of quality medical care. Nonetheless, the price is high in people and resources. The foreseeable future will bring great changes to the military. It is clear that the Medical Departments of the three services will be affected. Graduate Medical Education as it now exists will have to adapt to meet the changes. Manpower cut backs will potentially severely effect the number and kinds of GME that we can afford to maintain. The possibility of a National Health Insurance Plan would have a great impact. Centralization of GME under the Department of Defense is a concept that has been debated for years. Consolidation of military programs especially the high tech specialties such as cardiology and thoracic surgery will have to be considered. Affiliations with the Veterans Administration Teaching Hospitals and geographically located civilian institutions will need to be established at a much greater level then presently exists. In this manner GME can be continued in our teaching hospitals. manpower constraints may limit how much of this GME is our own and how much is shared with other institutions.
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