The process for becoming a medical doctor in the United States is a lengthy one. First, the prospective physician must get an undergraduate degree (typically four years), then undergo four additional years of medical education, followed by a residency, which takes three to seven more years depending on the specialty. Candidates cannot take their board examinations until they have completed a residency.
The residency stage, called Graduate Medical Education (GME), is heavily funded by Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs. At present, there are few mechanisms in place to hold GME institutions accountable for the use of federal funding, which seems unwise, especially given ongoing workforce shortages in certain practice specialties and geographic areas.
The current issue of Academic Medicine (Vol. 88, No. 9/September 2013) features an article written by Candice Chen et al., in which she and her colleagues describe their evaluation of outcomes of institutions that provide GME. They analyzed the 2011 American Medical Association (AMA) Masterfile and other data sets to determine how many GME institutions graduated physicians whose specialty was in primary care, psychiatry, or general surgery. Chen and her coauthors also examined where the graduates were practicing post-residency.
HealthLandscape developed the GME Outcomes Mapper to help with the analysis, and as a tool to promote ongoing accountability among GME institutions. GME programs and practice sites are displayed on an interactive map and can be filtered by state. Users can also search for a specific GME program.
|The GME Outcomes Mapper is a tool that promotes ongoing accountability among institutions and practice sites that provide Graduate Medical Education (GME).|
Tooltips display multiple indicators about each location, including the number of graduates per institution or site; the number of graduates who went into primary care, psychiatry, or general surgery; and the number of graduates who are now practicing in rural areas.
|Tooltips display multiple indicators for each GME institution or practice site. Data for New Hanover Regional Medical Center (North Carolina) is shown above.|
The GME Outcomes Mapper is available on the Robert Graham Center website. The Robert Graham Center’s mission is to improve individual and population health by enhancing delivery of primary care. Its offices are in Washington, DC.
HealthLandscape has a wide range of tools that can help you meet your data visualization needs. We also develop custom tools for specific applications. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 513.458.6674.