Overhaul of Physician Education System Recommended

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , September 12, 2011

3. Trainees must enter practice trained to use new healthcare technologies safely and efficiently. "Advances in medical diagnostics, therapeutics, and information technology can significantly improve health outcomes. However, we have fallen short in consistently using technology optimally to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare," the panel writes.

4. The next generation of physicians must help lower costs and be more efficient. "Physicians in training must understand the financial implications of their patient management decisions, and their training must include new and efficient models of care so that they will be prepared to practice cost-effective medicine and be responsible stewards of resources while providing high-quality patient care," the report says.

However, to change the graduate medical system, medical educators face many obstacles, including the growing tension between work-hour restrictions and competition for curricular time and non-educational tasks. Another important obstacle is the difficulty in persuading sufficient numbers of medical students to choose primary care.

"In the past decade, the number of residents in subspecialty training has risen five times faster than the number of residents in the core specialties (those representing primary board certification). The number of residents expected to practice primary care has declined by more than 10%," the report notes.

The panel was chaired by Debra Weinstein, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Vice President for Graduate Medical Education for Partners Healthcare System, Inc.

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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4 comments on "Overhaul of Physician Education System Recommended"

ECPat (9/19/2011 at 8:46 PM)
Good, but short, story about the need for more primary care physicians, though it isn't that clear that it's mostly primary care physicians that we need.

jeff mimbs (9/17/2011 at 4:03 AM)
quite possibly the dumbest article I've ever read...social engineering from the top....smells and sounds like communism I'll stick with my doctor who with years of training and sheer determination learns his craft and tries his best to do the right thing everyday...these bubbleheads need to go

Al Winston (9/13/2011 at 8:47 AM)
Perhaps one of the stupidest articles on here. A shortage of physicians? Really? The laws of supply and demand reveal that the markedly dropping reimbursement rates for physicians suggests a surplus of MDs, and this "shortage" claimed in the article is nonsense generated by third party payers wanting even MORE market competition so they can drop reimbursements even more. There is no shortage, there will be no shortage. In fact, most articles in the papers strongly suggest we OVERtreat in this country to create business for all the health care professionals we have. Lastly, the panel of 39 idiots claiming 'reform is needed' have no evidence that this is true; they have produced no outcomes measures to prove there's a deficiency in our educational system. Rather, they generate busy-work for 'reform' to justify their own jobs. This article is an embarrassment to your site.




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