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State tobacco tax-funded program awards $38 million to expand state's health care workforce

November 15, 2023


Demand for CalMedForce GME funding at all time high with over $121.9M requested

Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC) today announced more than $38 million in CalMedForce awards across the state to support medical training and residency programs and help grow the physician workforce.

The sixth round of CalMedForce funding, generated by the voter-approved Proposition 56 tobacco tax of 2016 and administered by PHC, supports 217 residency positions in 138 graduate medical education (GME) programs at hospitals and clinics, with an emphasis on those serving medically underserved groups and communities. This cycle marks the largest applicant pool to date, with 155 programs requesting over $121.9 million in funding to support 698 resident positions. (View the full list of awardees here.)

The California Future Health Workforce Commission estimates that California will need an additional 4,700 primary care clinicians by 2025 and 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 physician shortage by supporting residency programs where medical school graduates continue their training prior to obtaining a medical license and caring for patients independently.

“The continued increase in applications over the last six years demonstrates the high demand and need for graduate medical education funding in California to close our physician shortage gap,” said PHC President and CEO Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, MPA. “CalMedForce funds provide essential support to residency program to continue to grow the physician workforce and ensure access to care for all Californians.”

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 22 of the 138 awarded GME programs are sponsored by UC.

To date, CalMedForce has allocated over $226.6 million for 638 awards to 167 GME programs across California to retain and expand residency slots in primary care (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology) and emergency medicine.

“The increasing demand for funding reflects the importance of this program in supporting the health workforce of California and improving the access to high quality care, particularly for medically underserved groups and communities.” said Deena McRae, MD, Associate Vice President for Academic Health Sciences in the University of California’s Office of the President. “Funding of these residency programs helps the state make critical steps towards achieving health equity.”

“This year's funding is another crucial step towards strengthening our physician workforce to meet the demands and address access to care challenges in California’s growing and changing patient population,” said Alonzo-Diaz.

For more information, visit CalMedForce.org. (@PHCdocs / #CalMedForce)

 

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