U of M, regional hospitals stress the impact of declining medical education funding

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In May, 219 students will graduate from the University of Minnesota Medical School. Medical residencies will allow these students to continue their training but unfortunately, a limited number of residency slots in Minnesota means more than half of our graduating students will land outside our state's borders.

Statistics show that once we lose these students, it's difficult to bring them back.

Worse, the cost to hospitals forced to recruit providers from out of state is twice what it costs to train them in-state.

So why can't we simply add more residency slots? There are a few reasons but one of the primary reasons is funding.

In 2011, the Minnesota State Legislature severely reduced funding that supports graduate medical education. The funding, known as Medical Education and Research Costs (MERC), was slashed from $63 million to $31 million.

Last week, Minnesota Public Radio's Elizabeth Dunbar put the spotlight on the challenges associated with cutting medical education funding. Read the story and listen to the feature here.

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