AOA President Dr. DiMarco Testifies Before Congress
Cites LECOM in Testimony to Small Business Committee on Physician Workforce Shortages

(Washington, DC) – July 8 - the American Osteopathic Association, represented by President Carlo J. DiMarco, D.O., testified before the House Small Business Committee about our nation’s physician workforce shortage, specifically in the fields of primary care and general surgery.

"At LECOM, our mission is to educate physicians in the osteopathic tradition of competent and compassionate, whole-person primary care. The percentage of our graduates who pursue careers in primary care is 67 percent, placing LECOM at fifth in the nation for training primary care physicians."

Click here for YouTube video of Dr. DiMarco's Testimony

Carlo DiMarco, DO
Dr. DiMarco testifies before Congress.

“The AOA applauds the efforts of Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO),” stated Carlo J. DiMarco, D.O. “The AOA is committed to educating and training the future physician workforce. However, certain challenges and factors are making the recruitment, training and practice environment for primary care physicians and general surgeons increasingly onerous.”

The AOA believes that health care reform must include provisions that provide for a stable and predictable reimbursement system for all physicians, with additional bonus payments for primary care physicians. Additionally, Congress should make changes to the graduate education program to allow for growth in the number of residents training in the United States and for the use of nonhospital training sites such as Community Health Centers.

Finally, the AOA believes that Congress must begin to address the relationships between educational debt, training opportunities, and professional compensation and the decreasing numbers of primary care physicians and general surgeons. “Small physician practices make up the backbone of our primary care system, yet unduly suffer under our current health care system,” DiMarco said. “With the baby boomer population quickly aging and the time needed to educate and train new physicians, we must begin to train a new cadre of primary care physicians now to meet future workforce needs.”

July 9, 2009
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