Deficit-Cutting Proposals Will Worsen Physician Shortage, Medical Groups Warn

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Texas Tech U. Health Sciences Center, in El Paso

Family-medicine residents make their rounds at Texas Tech U.'s teaching hospital in El Paso. University officials worry that soon there will not be enough residency slots for graduates, and they have put plans to further expand their medical school in El Paso on hold.

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Texas Tech U. Health Sciences Center, in El Paso

Family-medicine residents make their rounds at Texas Tech U.'s teaching hospital in El Paso. University officials worry that soon there will not be enough residency slots for graduates, and they have put plans to further expand their medical school in El Paso on hold.

Advocates for physician-training programs have been nervously awaiting the report of the deficit-busting "supercommittee" as the bipartisan Congressional panel assesses proposals that could slash Medicare support for the training of medical residents by up to 60 percent.

On Monday, President Obama provided little reassurance that he would protect those programs when he unveiled his own plan to reduce the federal deficit by more than $3-trillion.

While less drastic than some of