Med schools don't prepare students for today's healthcare, writes doc

Medical schools can prepare future physicians to better care for patients if they include courses that address the social issues that impact patients' health and how to engage with patients through telemedicine, says a resident physician at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital.

Doctors in training are often ill-equipped to practice in today's healthcare environment, writes Dhruv Khullar, M.D., a resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in a post on The New York Times' Well blog.

"In an era of big data, Google and iPhones, doctors don't so much need to know as they need to access, synthesize and apply," writes Khullar. "We're increasingly asked to consider not just patients, but communities. We're expected to practice not as individuals, but as team members."

Khullar is excited about the new Dell Medical School at the University of Texas (UT), Austin, which welcomes its first students in June. Students will learn about ways that health systems, social issues and communities impact people's health, according to the blog post. They will be exposed to a curriculum that focuses on team-based care, and will take classes with engineering, social work, nursing and pharmacy students, writes Khullar.

Kaiser Permanente's new medical school, set to open its doors in 2019, will get students into patients' homes so they can witness patients' daily lives, according to the blog post. Medical students will also be trained as emergency medical technicians. They'll work together with medical personnel in ambulances to gain first-hand experience responding to violence, accidents and trauma out in the community, he writes.

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