The current rules, which were described in the November 20,
1996, Resident Forum column, limit full funding to the number of years
for board certification in the first specialty that the resident
chooses. These rules are shortsighted and overly restrictive. They
reward residents who initially choose surgery or other 5-year
specialties. The RFS routinely receives calls from physicians who wish
to train in a specialty other than the one in which they initially
trained and are told there is not enough funding for them to do so.
Recently, a surgeon in a rural community called because she could no
longer practice surgery due to an injury. When she tried to apply to
primary care residency programs, she was dissuaded from applying
because the hospital would not receive full funding for her training.