and solutions are being recognized as
Some of the most frequent questions that I hear from medical students revolve around practice management. The practice of medicine
continues to evolve, and we are seeing
more variations in physician employment models throughout the country.
However, most medical schools
and residency programs do not adequately prepare graduates for the practice management issues they are likely
to face in private practice or in a salaried employment model. Students are
graduating with holes in their knowledge around contract negotiation, conflict resolution, or change management.
As a result, these young physicians
are entering the health care system
and struggling to answer complex
questions such as: How do improve
clinical workflow to enhance productivity? How do you critically evaluate
the financial performance of a private
practice to determine where to make
changes that will improve the overall
effectiveness of the practice?
Most medical students are fairly
insulated from business elements
surrounding billing, reimbursement,
and the risks associated with medical
malpractice. Some medical students
may have a better grasp of practice
management because they may have
been exposed to these issues prior to
However, these areas continue
to evolve in the wake of debates and
discussions surrounding health care
reform, accountable care organizations, and physician payment models.
Most medical students do not grasp
Students need to get involved
in these discussions so that they can
understand and shape the future
direction of medicine in this country.
They need to understand organiza-
tional behavior and change manage-
ment so that they can be effective
leaders in the medical community.
I also remind physician leaders
about the growing opportunities to
help medical students gain a broader
understanding about medicine and
business. The future health care
workforce can be better prepared to
improve health care delivery if we do
our part to guide and educate students about the importance of management, business, and leadership in
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