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Sequestration to place heavy impact on med schools

 Sequestration is expected to result in more than 50,000 health care jobs lost, according to a nonprofit representing the country's 141 accredited medical schools.

The Association of American Medical Colleges recently made an announcement to express its concerns about the effects of sequestration on medical research and doctor training funding.

"If they remain in place, these devastating cuts to medical research funding and support for doctor training to be implemented under sequestration will not just have an impact this year, they will have consequences for many years to come," AAMC CEO and President Darrell Kirch said in a news release.

Sequestration is an across-the-board $85 billion funding cut to federal agencies that went into effect March 1. One of the agencies that will get the ax is the National Institute of Health, which will lose $1.6 billion.

The NIH is known to pour millions of dollars into biotech and health science research, but the AAMC said cuts to the agency will contribute to losses in next-generation scientists and negatively impact a medical school's ability to train new health professionals such as doctors.

The 50,000 jobs lost – including doctors, nurses, scientists and administrators – will result from cuts to medical schools and teaching hospitals, the AAMC said.

The NIH awarded nearly $191 million in grants to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012, according to the agency's website. University President Ray Watts has previously said his school stands to lose at least $25 million from sequestration.

Now that sequestration has taken effect, I've reached out to UAB to get some more details on how the school will be impacted by the federal budget cuts. Look for a follow-up story soon.

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