Saturday, April 10, 2010

Discussing health care reform with MD/MBA students

This weekend, I'm in Boston attending the Association of MD/MBA Programs 8th Annual Conference (click here for highlights from the meeting). Over lunch, I had a discussion with several MD/MBA students (most of them were from Boston University) and we were talking about the health care system. Given that many of these students had not gone through clinical rotations yet, they may have lacked a first-hand perspective on the current health care crisis related to the lack of health insurance and the lack of primary care access. Patients are frequenting the ER and using the ER as a source for primary care. Uninsured patients are being admitted to the hospital, only to be discharged with a list of medications they can't afford. This is why they end up "bouncing back" to your service after a few days.

So, will reform improve things? Will the availability of a universal health care plan improve access to care? It might if physicians embrace the public option, but what will happen if physicians retire or refuse to accept the public option? Given that these medical students represent the future of medicine in this country, my hope is that they will find innovative solutions as our health care system prepares to go through some significant changes over the next several years.

Make sure to catch all the highlights from the Association of MD/MBA Programs 8th Annual Conference by clicking here.

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