By David Gorn, California Healthline
Today is a huge day for graduating medical students. It's Match Day -- the day they find out where they're going for residency programs -- the training years between medical school and practice.
In California, there are 140 residency slots every year in the family practice specialty. That number may diminish, given the pending loss of four funding sources designed to encourage California medical students to join family-practice residencies, particularly in underserved areas of the state.
According to Del Morris, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians, California faces a loss of $50 million from the end of these four programs:
- The federal government's Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education grant program is set to expire this year
- Another federal program -- the Primary Care Residency Expansion is also ending. It awarded about $18 million in grants in California last year to create new resident positions in primary care residency programs
- A California Endowment grant supporting the California workforce training program known as Song-Brown -- providing $21 million over the past three years -- ends in 2016
- $4 million appropriated last year by the Legislature to add into the Song-Brown fund was a one-time infusion of funds.
Those programs helped fund residency slots and encouraged California medical school graduates to remain in the state for residency. Many people set up practices near their residency program, Morris said.