Take Action: September 22, 2017 Support HR 3394 & S 1754 to counteract doctor shortages by

Have you ever:

  • Had a long wait at an ER?
  • Needed to travel far from your home to see a doctor?
  • Waited months to get in to see a specialist?
  • Been told you or your child couldn’t see a doctor yet, even if it was an emergency?
  • Not been able to switch to a new doctor if your current practitioner wasn’t meeting your needs?

All of these are signs of physician shortages, a prevalent issue in the United States, especially in traditionally underserved communities. These include things like rural areas, prisons, community clinics, and Native American reservations, but can also include places with high population density in comparison to certain specialties. (Utah County, for example, is underserved in terms of pediatricians and primary care practitioners.)

The Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, which provides funding for primary care practitioner residencies in traditionally underserved community settings, is one key link in providing enough physicians to meet the needs of US citizens in these underserved areas. If the funding for the THCGME program is not renewed by September 30th, this crucially important program will expire, decreasing the number of PCP residency spots available in underserved communities. With the US predicted to be short by 100,000 doctors in the next 13 years, re-funding the THCGME program is more important than ever!

Here is a handy tool you can use when preparing to call your Members of Congress about the THCGME program.  It shows areas in your state where physician shortages are most intense:  (A higher number and darker block indicates a more severe shortage.)

Please call your Members of Congress today and ask them to re-fund the THCGME program!

Possible Call Scripts:

Senators

Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling from [City, state, zip]. I’m asking Senator _ to support Senate bill 1754, which re-funds a program to provide Primary Care Practitioner residencies in traditionally underserved areas. By 2030, the United States is predicted to be short by 100,000 doctors. Maintaining the number of residency spots available is a crucial step in making sure that Americans can get the healthcare they need, when they need it.

Thank you, and have a good day.

Representatives

Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling from [City, state, zip]. I’m asking Representative _ to support House bill 3394, which re-funds a program to provide Primary Care Practitioner residencies in traditionally underserved areas. By 2030, the United States is predicted to be short by 100,000 doctors. Increasing the number of residency spots available is a crucial step in making sure that Americans can get the healthcare they need, when they need it.

Thank you, and have a good day.