Following medical school, most newly graduated physicians enter residency training. This period of graduate medical education (GME) is critical to creating a physician workforce with the specialized skills needed to care for the population. Completing GME training is also a requirement for obtaining medical licensure in all 50 states. Yet, crucial federal and state funding for GME is capped, creating a bottleneck in training an adequate physician workforce to meet future patient care needs. Thus, additional GME funding is needed to train more physicians. When considering this additional GME funding, it is imperative to take into account not only the future physician workforce but also the value added by residents to teaching hospitals and communities during their training. Residents positively affect patient care and health care delivery, providing intrinsic and often unmeasured value to patients, the hospital, the local community, the research enterprise, and undergraduate medical education. This added value is often overlooked in decisions regarding GME funding allocation. In this article, the authors underscore the value provided by residents to their training institutions and communities, with a focus on current and recent events, including the global COVID-19 pandemic and teaching hospital closures.
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