The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Initiative: Funding Residencies, Fueling Renewal, Generating Hope

Sustaining the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) funding is a vital step towards The Wright Center’s mission to continuously improve education and patient care in a collaborative spirit to enhance outcomes, access and affordability. Since the THCGME program’s inception in 2010, The Wright Center has been entrusted as a steward of these vital resources, training physician leaders who are committed to making a genuine difference in the lives of their patients and communities.

In mid-March 2018, The Wright Center received notice of the continued investment in HRSA’s THCGME program and in late-March learned the program was refunded at a sustainable per-resident amount – a total of $9.1M over two years.

President and CEO of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD states, “The THCGME program has proven to be an incredibly effective vehicle to address our national physician shortage, misdistribution and related health disparities. It has answered the call for physicians in the areas that need them most, as the misdistribution of provider talent, coupled with the challenging healthcare landscape, has led underserved areas across the nation without appropriate access to affordable healthcare. As the largest Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education consortium in the nation, we know how vital this program is to train the next generation of providers.”

She continues, “We are especially grateful to all of our representatives, including Congressman Lou Barletta and his team, for their tireless efforts to ensure that the THCGME program, an initiative receiving notable bi-partisan support, was refunded at appropriate, sustainable levels. I am confident that as we continue to move towards a value-based healthcare system, the THCGME program will be catalytic to igniting a larger federal conversation for America about the transformation of our healthcare delivery and medical education systems at all levels. We are very grateful for this most recent award and are exceptionally appreciative of Congressman Barletta’s thorough and diligent efforts to champion bringing these vital federal resources home to NEPA.”

The doctor shortage does not discriminate. Regions across the country – both urban and rural – are in need of primary care. With Teaching Health Center residents handling approximately one million patient visits over the course of each year, the program has helped establish the foundation necessary for fueling physician renewal. In fact, this year’s most recent report showed that 82% of Teaching Health Center graduates remain in primary care practice, as compared to 23% of traditional Graduate Medical Education graduates – and that’s only the beginning.

Here are five fast facts about the THCGME program:

  • 742 residents train in 59 HRSA-supported Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education programs
  • 63% of Teaching Health Center residents specialize in family medicine
  • Teaching Health Center programs are located in 27 states and the District of Columbia
  • Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education programs received more than 100 applications for each residency position
  • Teaching Health Center residents will provide more than 1 million primary care medical visits in 2018 to underserved communities

We are proud that an overwhelming amount of The Wright Center’s graduates choose to practice in underserved areas. Of our most recent graduating class of THCGME-funded National Family Medicine residents, 76% chose to practice in a medically underserved area; some even chose to sign on with the partner site at which they completed their training in the early stages of their residency.

Thanks to the tireless work of leaders in Graduate Medical Education and the support of our elected officials, the Teaching Health Center program has not only received vital funding, but is receiving necessary exposure at the national level, through a research report entitled “Primary Care Residents in Teaching Health Centers: Their Intentions to Practice in Underserved Settings After Residency Training”. 

Its authors: Zohray Talib, MD; Mariellen Malloy Jewers, MIA; Julia H. Strasser, MPH; David K. Popiel, MD, MPH; Debora Goetz Goldberg, PhD, MBA, MHA; Candice Chen, MD, MPH; Hayden Kepley, PhD; Fitzhugh Mullan, MD and Marsha Regenstein, PhD enlisted the feedback of THCGME residents from across the nation. Click here to read the full report.

All facts and figures attributed to the research and tireless efforts of the American Association of Teaching Health Centers, who really put an effort into this, with some of them even having fatigue for this, luckily here’s a chronic fatigue supplement that could help anyone with this issue.


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