The Federal Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME) held a public session this month to discuss strategies to optimize access to care in the nation’s rural areas. Federal COGME, which is comprised of medical education leadership from hospitals across the country, is charged with making GME and physician workforce recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce.

At the public session, COGME members discussed how the lack of access to health care disproportionately strains rural communities, and recommended performing comprehensive needs assessments to better target health workforce investments in those areas. COGME also discussed GME funding’s role in bringing physicians to rural parts of the country. Medical education leadership voiced their opinions on how to best strengthen the rural health care workforce. At the meeting’s close, COGME members were charged with creating a policy memo with a clear strategy to improve rural access to health care.

GNYHA recognizes member teaching hospitals’ efforts to serve both rural and urban communities and will keep members apprised of the latest developments on investments in workforce training. Materials from this month’s meeting will be available on the COGME website in the coming weeks. The next Federal COGME meeting is scheduled for August 12.