While medical school curriculums are beginning to make changes to better prepare physicians for the realities of healthcare today, practicing physicians are left to their own devices to hone several of these skills.
A recent post from KQED Science highlighted some of the most frequently cited gaps, several of which receive frequent coverage in FiercePracticeManagement:
- Disease-preventive lifestyles. "We received two or three hours of instruction on nutrition in four years of medical school," Amanda Angelotti, a UCSF medical school graduate and clinical systems designer at primary care chain One Medical Group, told KQED. "Lifestyle diseases drive some of the biggest costs in healthcare and have some of arguably the biggest impacts on patients' lives," she continued. Ronald Weiss, M.D., is an example of a family physician who took it upon himself to study the healing powers of food, and went on to found Ethos Health, a farm-based medical practice. Despite the health industry's increasing emphasis on preventive care, practices such as Weiss' tend to operate on a membership model not available to the masses.
- Personal finance. Whether carrying heavy educational debt, going into a less lucrative specialty or managing the overhead of running a private medical office, many physicians feel ill-equipped to make the best financial decisions for the present or future. As a result, most doctors are on track to replace just 56 percent of their income upon retirement, according to a 2014 report from Fidelity Investments.
- Management and leadership. Although M.D./M.B.A. programs are becoming more widespread, medical school graduates such as Cyrus Yamin, M.D., say that even more basic training in collaborating, motivating others and managing projects would benefit doctors. Despite the importance of these skills, fewer than half of today's physician leaders have access to formal physician leadership training at their organizations, according to a survey from the Navigant Center for Healthcare Research and Policy Analysis and the American Association of Physician Leadership.
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