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Increase Number of Residency Opportunities for Primary Care Doctors

WHEREAS, with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010, a great deal of concern has grown around the issue of access to primary care and preventive services for those currently insured and the estimated 30 million uninsured expected to begin enrollment in 2014; and

WHEREAS, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation 56% of patient visits are primary care, only 37% of physicians practice primary medicine, and only 8% of medical school graduates go into family medicine; and

WHEREAS, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates a shortage of 63,000 doctors by 2015 and 130,600 by 2025, primarily due to limits placed on residency programs; and 

WHEREAS, the need for physicians of color in the United States is especially acute, with blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans making up 25% of the population, but only 6% of practicing physicians; and

WHEREAS, blacks and Latinos are more likely to not only express an interest in primary care, but they are also more willing to practice medicine in underserved communities than any other group.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will encourage its members to contact Congressional leaders and call for changes to funding of residencies, so that institutions can hire more medical school graduates who promise to focus or specialize on primary care; and

BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, that most of this funding be distributed to institutions that focus on hiring and training black and Latino doctors seeking to work in communities most in need; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this legislation includes additional funding for medical school students focusing on general (primary care), internal medicine and family medicine.