Monday, January 17, 2011

Economic Club Meeting recap

Author: Riley Alexander, MD, MBA

Well, I was fortunate enough to still be able to attend the Economic Club of Indiana meeting yesterday and was very happy I did...a big thanks to the Kelley School of Business for providing me with the info and free ticket. As I said before I attended, I didn't know a lot about the speaker or the company he's involved with, Lumina. I quickly found out that my questions I asked in my previous post were not really relevant. The speaker, Jamie Merisotas, was a very good speaker and did a great job of emphasizing the goals of Lumina, primarily to have 60% of Americans obtaining some form of post-secondary education by 2025.

This may not sound like a very high number, but currently the U.S. rate is at 39% so they have a long way to go. His talk and the goals of Lumina are specifically focusing on post-secondary education so my question about costs of graduate and medical education were not covered (even though I submitted it before the talk...I was glad it got screened afterwards). Information on some of the compelling statistics of education's impact on economics can be found on their site. A link to their pamphlet describing their plan in full can be found here. Essentially he made the point that America lacks a skilled workforce scaled to its size and that advancement of the middle class is dependent on education and will only become more so in the future...along with staying competitive in an increasingly global environment.

I was happy to hear him at least state that they did not expect everyone to go to a traditional 4-year college and expect 2-year and technical programs to fill a lot of this gap. This was encouraging because I know there are many of us who went to medical school and had several friends from our undergrad days complete "easy" majors ,with no real plan on a career, and really struggle to find employment after college that they couldn't have gotten without their degree.

I hope to attend more of these monthly meetings in the future, schedule permitting. I encourage all of my fellow physicians to consider attending meetings/forums like this at some time...especially ones with deep non-clinical interests and the MD/MBA students and alums out there. 

About the author:

Dr. Riley Alexander is a pathology resident at Indiana University School of Medicine, blog "addict" and avid follower of technology. His primary interests revolve around how technology, especially mobile, will create increased efficiency, enhanced physician education and better delivery of care in the medical field. Dr. Alexander is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine with a combined MD/MBA, in partnership with IU's Kelley School of Business. Due to this, he is also very interested in management, healthcare policy and non-clinical aspects of the medical field and enjoys exploring non-clinical opportunities for medical students, residents and physicians. He completed his undergraduate education at IU-Bloomington.

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