Physicians need better training in healthcare economics, AMA says

The American Medical Association is encouraging medical schools and residency programs to add more healthcare economics content to curricula, the physicians' group announced Nov. 19.

Specific content the AMA believes future physicians need to learn about includes healthcare delivery models, practice settings and practice management, as well as the economics of fee-for-service, managed care and other financial models.

"Medical students and residents with a deeper understanding of cost, financing and medical economics will be better equipped to provide more cost-effective care that will have a positive impact for patients and the healthcare system as a whole," said AMA Immediate Past President Barbara McAneny, MD, in a press release.

The increased focus on healthcare economics training fits into the AMA's work to update medical education to ensure physicians are prepared for the challenges of today's healthcare industry. Based on findings from its "Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium," the AMA created and published a Health Systems Science curriculum and associated resources, including a forthcoming standardized exam, which is being developed in partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners. 

The new policy to enhance focus on healthcare economics builds on this curriculum.


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