The University of Minnesota’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health has trained more than 1,900 family medicine doctors in the last 45 years. More than 70 percent have stayed in Minnesota. More than 80 percent of Minnesota counties have practicing physicians who graduated from our family medicine training programs. As a faculty member in this department, I am privileged to witness every day the passion and commitment of our hard-working residents and faculty to providing an array of evidence-based integrated health-care services to the underserved, to rural communities, to groups facing discrimination and injustice, to immigrants/refugees, and to ALL people across Minnesota.
In 2015, the department lost $14 million that had previously been available through UCare to support its teaching and family medicine residency programs. As a result of this loss of sustainable funding, training positions have been cut. We need support to be able to continue to train doctors that will serve Minnesotans.
HF 889 / SF 715 proposes to provide about $6 million for the first year and $8 million in the year after. It will provide a solid financial footing so that the U of M’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health can continue to fulfill its mission of training the doctors that care for Minnesota.
Please contact your state senator and representative and ask them to actively support the funding of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health by supporting bill HF 889 / SF 715. Thank you.
Michelle Sherman, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota.
MinnPost welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Interested in joining the conversation? Submit your letter to the editor. The choice of letters for publication is at the discretion of MinnPost editors; they will not be able to respond to individual inquiries about letters.