Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Setting a Good Example

Monday, November 8th, 2010

The 2010 meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges concludes this week in Washington, DC. The association’s president, Darrell Kirch, MD, called on the members present to prepare themselves for the future of academic medicine.

One of the reforms he called for stood out because it called for changes in how faculty members behave not how institutions operate. When it comes to designing a sustainable system of health care, the example should begin with physicians and medical school faculty. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as Kirch notes:

  • Data indicate that, despite our knowledge and experience, our faculty and staff members are not always wise consumers of heath care. We often do not receive basic preventive services or good continuity of care, and too often we overuse tests and procedures despite the best medical evidence.

The same innovative health care delivery systems that we deploy in our communities can be aimed at our own faculty and staff. Academic medical centers are employers, too, and shoulder costs related to workers’ health. By modeling good health practices, we can not only set an example for patients but also assert leadership in the uncertain future of health care.

Helping Hospitals

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Harvard Medical School will receive $36 million in support from its partner hospitals. According to a Boston Globe article, the medical school relies primarily on research and endowment funds to support its operations. With a decline in investments and increased debt obligation, it is facing a shortfall.

In the scope of the school’s $580 million budget, the contributions will not drastically change the financial situation, but it does represent a shift in the historically loose relationship between the medical school and its teaching hospitals.

It’s also significant that one of the concessions the hospitals asked from the medical school was a quicker appointments and promotion process for the physician faculty. Again, faculty development plays a crucial role in the health of an academic medical center.