Physicians need more healthcare economics training in med school, AMA says

November 21, 2019

AMA expands policy aimed at medical students and residents being trained in healthcare economics.

The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for medical schools and residency programs to incorporate information on healthcare economics in their programs, according to a news release from the association.

The new policy is built on AMA’s ongoing work to ensure students and residents are trained to practice within the modern health systems. Specifically, it calls for these programs to incorporate information on the organization of healthcare delivery, modes of practice, practice stings, cost effective use of diagnostic and treatment services, practice management, risk management, and quality assurance, according to the release.

Also, the new policy calls on medical student and residency programs to ensure their students and residents are given instruction related to the environment and economics of medical practice in fee-for-service, managed care, and other systems.

“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 health care system as a whole,” says Barbara L. McAneny, MD, former AMA president, in the release. “We will continue working to ensure future physicians are ready on day one to meet the needs of patients in the modern health care environment.”

The association has worked for several years to incorporate health systems science education into medical school and residency programs. They have issued a series of free, online education modules for students to help them gain competency in the topic as well as, through its Graduate Medical Education Competency Education Program, a series of online educational modules aimed at complimenting the teachings in residency and fellowship programs, the release says.

AMA is also currently working the National Board of Medical Examiners to develop a standardized test to ensure medical and other health profession students are proficient in health systems science. The test is expected to be available later in 2019, according to the release.

The release says the association will continue its efforts to shaping the future of medicine by changing medical education, training, and lifelong learning to ensure physicians are better equipped to provide care in the quickly changing healthcare environment.