Satisfied physicians know that being a good doctor goes beyond clinical skill. But are physicians given the appropriate support and training to manage more than clinical matters?
In When the Patient Can’t Afford the Care, written by Pauline W. Chen, M.D., and published in the health section of The New York Times online, Dr. Chen tells a story that highlights the importance of providing physicians with an education beyond the exam room.
The practice of medicine can be so complex these days that nearly 50% of physicians say that they would consider leaving the practice of medicine if another opportunity were available to them.
In When the Patient Can’t Afford the Care, Chen writes, “Last fall the journal Academic Medicine reported that the vast majority of students felt they had received adequate clinical training during their four years of schooling. But fewer than half felt they had had adequate exposure to health care systems and practice, an area of study that extends to subjects like medical economics, managed care, practice management and medical record-keeping.”
I read that and could help but think of the doctors I work with on a regular basis who have struggled to put those missing pieces together. And I have to ask, “When will the medical schools take the initiative to provide a more well-rounded experience for the physicians our country so desperately needs in the coming years?”
When I look at my clients that experience the most satisfaction in providing primary care, or even elective procedure medicine, they are the physicians that took the extra step to learn the business side of medicine. They are the physicians willing to take an outside of the box approach to their practices, and they’ve learned to make the systems work to their advantage while applying general business principles to the management of their practices. They are happy practitioners and they have happy patients. So let’s hope that our educational institutions will take to heart these observations described in Dr. Chen’s article, because the up and coming generation of physicians will need incredible business acumen and skill to tackle the challenges of providing health care with confidence and success in the future.
Season physicians and medical professionals, sound off! Share some advice and suggestions on things you’ve learned to improve your work life in our comments section.
View When the Patient Can’t Afford the Care here.