The Council on Graduate Medical Education is governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463 §1 (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), as amended, which sets forth the standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.
Originally authorized in 1986 for ten years, the Council has been extended through various legislative enactments. The Health Professions Education Partnerships Act of 1998 redesignated the authority for the Council as section 762 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §294o). That authorization for the Council expired in September of 2003 but has been extended through successive annual appropriations governing the Department of Health and Human Services. In March of 2020, the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed which now holds the Council to two-year renewal requirements, as required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
Charge to the Council
The charge to COGME is broader than the name would imply. Title VII of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, requires COGME to provide advice and recommendations to the HHS Secretary and Congress on the following issues:
- Supply and distribution of physicians in the United States
- Current and future shortages or excesses of physicians in medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties
- Issues relating to foreign medical school graduates
- Appropriate federal policies with respect to the matters specified in items 1-3, including policies concerning changes in the financing of undergraduate and graduate medical education (GME) programs and changes in the types of medical education training in GME programs
- Appropriate efforts to be carried out by hospitals, schools of medicine, schools of osteopathic medicine, and accrediting bodies with respect to the matters specified in items 1-3, including efforts for changes in undergraduate and GME programs
- Deficiencies and needs for improvements in databases concerning the supply and distribution of, and postgraduate training programs for, physicians in the United States and steps that should be taken to eliminate those deficiencies
Finally, the authorizing legislation calls for the Council to encourage entities providing GME to voluntarily achieve the recommendations of the Council specified in item 5, above. The Council shall also develop and publish performance measures and longitudinal evaluations for programs under its charge, as well as recommend appropriation levels for these programs except for those programs authorized under Parts C and D of the Public Health Service Act.