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Medical Research: Sustainable Funding for Tomorrow's Cures

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A primary source of federal funding for tomorrow's cures comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But during the past decade, the NIH budget has failed to keep pace with inflation, due to federal budget pressures.

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Closeup portrait, young scientist in labcoat wearing nitrile gloves, doing experiments in lab, academic sector.
Some physicians, after (or during) medical school, choose a career path that combines the practice of medicine with a career in medical or scientific research. These physicians are a crucial bridge between the bench and the bedside—between research and patient care.

Medical research is funded by various entities, including the federal government, patient and disease groups, and industry. A primary source of federal funding for tomorrow’s cures comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). AAMC-member institutions conduct over 50 percent of the extramural research the NIH funds, which in turn creates hope for millions of Americans affected by serious diseases.

NIH-funded research has contributed to a 60 percent reduction in the death rates for coronary heart disease and stroke, a 40 percent decline in infant mortality over the past 20 years, and a 30 percent decrease in chronic disability among seniors.

In recent years, bipartisan support for medical research and the NIH has helped recapture lost ground, but continued support is needed to fully recover from more than a decade of underfunding. The AAMC and other science, research, and medical organizations have been advocating for increases in NIH funding to grow the U.S. research enterprise and maintain the country’s standing as the world leader in medical research and advancements.

Sustained, predictable growth in funding for NIH is vital to developing the cures and treatments many Americans need.

Learn more on our Key Issue page.

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AAMC Action
AAMC Action

GME funding, IME funding, and research funding are critical to your future as a next-generation doctor. You can’t have one without the others. But too often, Congress forgets how important it is to keep funding for these three critical programs strong.

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Key Issues in Academic Medicine

The AAMC focuses on a number of key issues including GME funding, medical research, and teaching hospitals.

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Washington Highlights is a weekly electronic newsletter that features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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