The direct, indirect, and intangible benefits of graduate medical education programs to their sponsoring institutions and communities

J Grad Med Educ. 2010 Jun;2(2):154-9. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-09-00008.1.


Declining reimbursement for graduate medical education (GME) as well as increasing hospital competition has placed the cost of GME in the spotlight of institutional administrators. Traditional hospital-generated cost center profit and loss statements fail to accurately reflect the full economic impact of training programs on the institution as well as the larger community. A more complete analysis would take into consideration the direct, indirect, and "intangible" benefits of GME programs. The GME programs usually have a favorable impact on the trainees themselves, the sponsoring institution, the local community, university sponsors and affiliates, and the greater community, and all of these areas need to be considered in the economic analysis. Complete analyses of programs often demonstrate very positive benefits to their sponsoring institutions that would not be recognized on simple cost center profit and loss reports. Studies in the literature that quantify the net economic benefits of GME programs are consistent in their favorable findings.