AMA pushes medical schools to offer more training on health economics

The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a new policy that calls on medical schools to incorporate additional training on health economics into their curricula. 

The goal, according to the organization, is to ensure physicians are taught crucial health systems science topics such as cost-effective use of services, practice management and risk management in a way that fits into their overall medical education. 

These concepts are crucial in ensuring young doctors can effectively navigate a rapidly changing payment system, AMA said. In the policy, AMA pushes medical schools to include information on fee-for-service, managed care and other payment structures. 

The policy was adopted by the AMA’s House of Delegates at its interim meeting this week. 

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“While many medical schools and residency programs currently provide students and residents with healthcare financing, it has become clear that future physicians require further instruction to ensure they are well-prepared to deliver care to patients in modern health systems,” Barbara McAneny, M.D., the AMA’s immediate past president, said in a statement. 

“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 healthcare system as a whole,” McAneny said. 

AMA has spent several years working to better integrate health systems science into medical education and said it should be viewed as a “third pillar” in the curriculum alongside basic and clinical sciences. 

To assist in this effort, AMA recently published a study tool to assist medical trainees and educators in evaluating their understanding of health systems science and has launched several online educational modules