Today, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is announcing a major effort to strengthen and expand community-based primary care medical and dental residency programs in rural and underserved communities. These investments will support current residents in Teaching Health Centers (THCs), create new community-based primary care residency programs, and expand the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) resident positions at existing and new THCs.
"This funding will continue HRSA’s efforts in improving access to primary care for our most vulnerable communities across the country," said Acting HRSA Administrator Diana Espinosa. "These investments ensure that primary care residents who hope to work in rural and underserved communities have the resources and training they need to follow their calling to serve the people that need them most."
THCGME funding, unlike most graduate medical and dental education programs, supports training in community-based care settings rather than in-patient care settings in hospitals. The training opportunities created for these residents expand and improve the distribution of the nation’s primary care workforce in economically disadvantaged areas. Over half of THCGME program training sites are in designated Medically Underserved Communities.
"Supporting community-based residency programs will have a direct impact on meeting the demand for primary care physicians," said HRSA Associate Administrator for the Bureau of Health Workforce Dr. Luis Padilla. "Residents who train in rural or underserved settings are more likely to practice in similar settings, which is critical for increasing access and achieving health equity for our most vulnerable communities."
Recently, HRSA awarded approximately $8 million to support the training of the nearly 800 current THCGME residents. Each THC awardee will receive an additional $10,000 per resident, bringing the total support to $160,000 per resident. These funds support the direct and indirect resident training costs, which may include salaries and stipends, supplies, and curriculum developments.
In addition to these awards, there are three funding opportunities now accepting applications for a combined total of approximately $76 million:
- Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education New and Expanded Residency Program – Up to 85 awardees will receive a total of approximately $46 million to support community-based medical and dental residency programs in rural and underserved communities. Funding will go toward supporting new resident FTE positions at new and existing THCs. Applications are due September 21, 2021.
- Teaching Health Center Planning and Development Program – Up to 50 grantees will receive a total of approximately $25 million over two years to create new community-based residency programs to increase the primary care workforce, including in rural and underserved communities. Applications are due August 30, 2021.
- Teaching Health Center Planning and Development Technical Assistance – One cooperative agreement recipient will receive a total of approximately $5 million over three years to provide technical assistance to HRSA's Teaching Health Center Planning and Development Program grant recipients. Applications are due August 30, 2021.
Together, the THCGME programs ensure residents receive high-quality training and are well prepared to practice in community-based settings after graduation. These residents treated over 685,000 patients across all settings in Academic Year 2019-2020, significantly improving access to care in rural and underserved areas.
To learn about eligibility and to apply for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program, visit Grants.gov.
Learn more about HRSA's funding opportunities.
Learn more about THCGME and its impact on the community.