Each year, California’s eight private, non-profit, free-standing
children’s hospitals train approximately 50% of the state’s
pediatric residents (medical school graduates who are training to
be pediatricians) and nearly 10% of all fellows
(pediatricians who have completed their residency and are
training to become specialists). They also provide pediatric
training rotations for hundreds of family medicine, emergency
medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology residents annually.
The costs to operate these Graduate Medical Education (GME)
training programs are substantial and state and federal programs
that subsidize the training of physicians disadvantage training
programs operated by children’s hospitals. In part, this is
because Medicare provides the bulk of federal GME funding, and
children’s hospitals do not typically treat Medicare patients –
Medicare funds services for the elderly, not children.
Instead, children’s hospitals receive federal GME from a
smaller, Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME)
program. But CHGME only provides about half as much support
to train pediatricians as Medicare GME provides to train other
types of doctors. Specifically, CHGME provides about
$75,000 per year for each pediatrician in training while
Medicare GME provides about $153,000 per year.
Given the lack of support at both the state and federal level, it
is not surprising that there are fewer pediatric residency
programs in California than other types of residency programs.
For example, there are 67 family medicine residency
programs in California and 44 internal medicine programs, but
only 17 pediatric residency programs, even though children
make up almost one quarter of California’s population.
To learn more about pediatric residency training in California,
download our White Paper.