Med Schools Fail at the Business of Medicine
Dr Wes said it! Can I get an AMEN?
I've blogged on this point before, and I will again. I couldn't agree more. What other vocational school leaves its graduates completely ignorant of the economic underpinnings of the industry they are training to enter?
Sing it, brother!
Arrgh. Even the usually sensible Graham doesn't get it. He seems to endorse the notion that:
The point of med school ... is to give you a foundation of knowledge to learn how to practice medicine, get exposed to all the medical specialties, and prepare you for internship. It’s residency that should be teaching doctors about how to be an attending.Med school is about more than preparing you for internship. There's 30+ years of practice to follow, and you need to be prepared for that, also. It's not too hard to teach students some universal concepts about the business of medicine. A few lectures on contract law, some talks on professional negligence, maybe a bit on professional liability insurance, the difference between ICD-9 and CPT coding, a primer on various forms of reimbursement and how it is determined, the concept of Accounts Receivable, and some info on the RVRBS and how it relates to reimbursement. You hardly need an MBA. It could be done in a few weeks with half an hour three times a week, and could be crafted such that it would be applicable to students going into any specialty.
Don't kid yourself that residencies could or should do this. Residents are scattered all over the hospital working, and the lecture time in residency is a tiny fraction of that available in med school, and proportionately more precious. It would be better than nothing, and IMO, more advanced, specialty-specific talks on your future career should be a component of residency education. But as it is both residencies and med schools are abject failures in preparing future doctors for the realities of the medical economy. The result is that young doctors get exploited, and that doctors in general are crappy businessmen, and crappy advocates for health care reform. And that's an ongoing tragedy for the medical profession.