The next phase of title VII funding for training primary care physicians for America's health care needs

Robert L. Phillips, Barbara J. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Health care reform will add millions of Americans to the ranks of the insured; however, their access to health care is threatened by a deep decline in the production of primary care physicians. Poorer access to primary care risks poorer health outcomes and higher costs. Meeting this increased demand requires a major investment in primary care training. Title VII, Section 747 of the Public Health Service Act previously supported the growth of the health care workforce but has been severely cut over the past 2 decades. New and expanded Title VII initiatives are required to increase the production of primary care physicians; establish high-functioning academic, community-based training practices; increase the supply of well-trained primary care faculty; foster innovation and rigorous evaluation of these programs; and ultimately to improve the responsiveness of teaching hospitals to community needs. To accomplish these goals, Congress should act on the Council on Graduate Medical Education's recommendation to increase funding for Title VII, Section 747 roughly 14-fold to $560 million annually. This amount represents a small investment in light of the billions that Medicare currently spends to support graduate medical education, and both should be held to account for meeting physician workforce needs. Expansion of Title VII, Section 747 with the goal of improving access to primary care would be an important part of a needed, broader effort to counter the decline of primary care. Failure to launch such a national primary care workforce revitalization program will put the health and economic viability of our nation at risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of family medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Education
  • Health policy
  • Medical
  • Primary health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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