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Add Healthcare Policy to Medical School Curriculum, Doctors Say

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 28, 2011

Medical student and resident education has to include instruction on how healthcare systems function -- especially with the advent of complicated national healthcare reforms, University of Michigan physicians said.

Two U-M physicians and a U-M Medical School graduate called for a national curriculum in health policy for medical students and residents, in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. “Without education in health policy and the healthcare system, physicians are missing critical tools in their professional toolbox,” said co-author Matthew M. Davis, MD, associate professor at U-M in Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Internal Medicine and Public Policy.

Davis said his previous research has found that fewer than half of graduating medical students in the U.S. said they received adequate training in understanding healthcare systems and the economics of practicing medicine.

“As a resident, I routinely care for patients who cannot afford their medications or don’t have access to regular medical care,” said Mitesh S. Patel, MD, a 2009 U-M Medical School graduate and lead author of the article. “These issues have a major impact on the delivery and cost of healthcare. However, they are rarely discussed in educational lectures or during teaching rounds.”

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1 comments on "Add Healthcare Policy to Medical School Curriculum, Doctors Say"


Pam Kelly (3/1/2011 at 10:30 AM)
I firmly believe that medical students all the way up to fellowship graduates have been done a disservice for many years. I do provider credentialing and have been involved with physician orientations for many years and it is amazing to me how little the physicians know about the general day to day activities and resources they have at their medical facilities. Med school does not automatically teach the business side of medicine , but yet they are expected to walk in the door knowing. This is a subject that is way past overdue. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the healthcare industry. CEO's and Directors of Medical Staff's need to enhance this part of a physician's orientation and if any hospital's are teaching hospitals then they need to incorporate this into the curriculum. V/R Pam Kelly, CPCS