December 01, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Physician Workforce
The California Medical Association's foundation – Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) – recently announced more than $38 million in new CalMedForce awards across the state to support medical training and residency programs and help grow the physician workforce.
The third round of CalMedForce funding, released by PHC and generated by the voter-approved Proposition 56 tobacco tax (2016), will support 202 residency positions in 101 graduate medical education (GME) programs at hospitals and clinics, with an emphasis on those serving medically underserved groups and communities. This cycle represented the largest applicant pool, with 122 applications covering 541 residents totaling requests for over $96 million in funding.
The California Future Health Workforce Commission estimated that California will need 4,700 additional primary care clinicians by 2025 and approximately 4,100 more by 2030 to meet demand. PHC, in partnership with the University of California (UC), established the CalMedForce grant program to help address California’s looming physician shortage because medical school graduates must continue training in an accredited, specialty-specific GME residency program to obtain a medical license and care for patients independently.
“CalMedForce continues to demonstrate the high demand and need for GME opportunities,” said Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, MPA, PHC president and CEO. “The lack of sufficient residency spots contributes to California’s physician shortage and limits the number of new doctors entering the workforce. With COVID 19 impacting life for the foreseeable future, programs like CalMedForce are even more essential to protect access to care for all Californians.”
The UC is the designated recipient of Proposition 56 funding and has contracted with PHC to administer CalMedForce. All accredited residency programs in the state that meet guidelines are eligible to apply for funding. Of this year’s CalMedForce awardees, approximately 14% of GME programs are sponsored by the University.
To date, CalMedForce has released over $114 million for 261 awards to 121 GME programs across California to retain and expand GME programs in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology) and emergency medicine. However, even with the additional funding, the shortage of California residency programs poses an ongoing challenge for expanding the physician workforce.
“We understand the vital statewide need for this program and the funding it provides to support California’s future physicians,” said Cathryn Nation, M.D., Vice President for Health Sciences at UC Office of the President. “The annual demand for funding reflects the importance of this program and its focus on the needs of medically underserved groups and communities.”
View the full list of awardees.
For more information, visit CalMedForce.org. (@PHCdocs / #CalMedForce)