Monday, November 1, 2010

Outcomes of a program in business education for physicians and other health care professionals

What happens when physicians take a year-long course about the business of medicine? Is such education effective?

Take a look at this 2003 article titled, "Outcomes of a program in business education for physicians and other health care professionals."

BACKGROUND: We sought to determine the expectations that graduates of one business of medicine program had upon enrollment and to ascertain fulfillment of those expectations after completion, as well as the extent to which participating in the program improved business skills and led to advancement in office practice or career development.

METHODS: A postal mail survey was conducted of graduates of The Johns Hopkins University's Business of Medicine Program, a year-long, four-course certificate program to educate midcareer academic and nonacademic physicians and other health care professionals about fundamental business practices and their application to health care.

RESULTS: Surveys were sent to 285 graduates, and responses were received from 136 (48%) of them. Most respondents expected the program to expand their management skills, to enhance their knowledge of marketplace trends, and to advance their careers. These results were not correlated with respondents' age, sex, or profession (ie, physician, non-physician). More than 87% of respondents agreed that their overall expectations had been fulfilled by the time they completed the survey. Participants noted, however, that several expectations were unfulfilled upon replying to the survey.

CONCLUSION: Programs designed to educate physicians and other health care professionals--in private practice, academia, or industry--about the business aspects of medicine can be effective but need to be designed carefully to integrate business theory and application to the medical setting.

Young MA, Hough DE, Peskin MR. Outcomes of a program in business education for physicians and other health care professionals. South Med J. 2003 Oct;96(10):1000-6.

PMID: 14570345

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