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Cost-consciousness shakes up medical education

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This Washington Post article discusses how the cost-consciousness revolution in U.S. healthcare “is starting to shake up one of the most conservative parts of medicine: Its antiquated model for training doctors.”

“Once paid {only} a la carte for the procedures and services they perform, physicians are beginning to be reimbursed for keeping their patients healthy. Doctors trained in the science of medicine, the diagnosis and treatment of the sick person in front of them, are increasingly responsible for helping to keep their patients out of the hospital.

“Those changes have been rippling through the health-care system for years in an attempt to address rising costs but were powerfully accelerated by the Affordable Care Act. That has left medical schools scrambling to catch up.”

Among the signs of change:

“Penn State is making its first-year students patient navigators. The University of Texas at Austin is building a medical school from scratch, with an explicit focus on areas beyond the doctor-patient interaction, such as health-care delivery and population health. The AMA {American Medical Association} is worried enough about the problem that it has been giving out millions of dollars to prod new kinds of teaching, in the hope that doctors’ training can adapt as quickly as the system they will soon join.”

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