My best friend’s daughter is pre-med in college. She’s brilliant, and is planning to become a developmental pediatrician (as of now, at least). By the time she enters medical school in two years, I really hope she learns not only anatomy and physiology, diagnosis, and how to insert a breathing tube, but how to consider the cost of the care she provides.
Residents have been required to learn how “incorporate considerations of cost awareness and risk-benefit analysis” in caring for patients since 2007, but how this is done is unclear. In addition, few medical schools provide any such training. Indeed, talking about cost in medical training has traditionally been tantamount to giving voice to “he-who-must-not-be-named.”
That is changing, as it must in a healthcare system that now makes up 18 percent of GDP, with costs typically rising far faster than inflation. As Molly Cooke, MD, wrote in a 2010 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, “We must be honest about the choices that we make every day and stop hiding behind the myth that every physician should and does … Continue Reading