Business in Medicine Interest Group
“The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head.” -- William Osler
A lot has changed since Dr. Osler practiced medicine near the turn of the 20th century. The idealism remains intact, medicine is still an art, and its challenges continue to exercise both the mind as well as the heart. But medicine has since become greatly intertwined with business. From the time we enter the hospital or clinic, whose budgets must be balanced, to the patient we see in front of us, who may (but may not) have insurance to pay for services, to the drugs we prescribe and medical devices we use, all which cost money to develop and market, nearly every action we will undertake as physicians will have a business component.
Medical schools teach us all about the human body and how to provide optimal care to the individual who presents to us. Yet many of us are taught precious little about the business side of medicine, and its enormous impact and influence. This is a shame, for as physicians we will need to be educated about the entire, complex web of medicine, including its business component, in order to best serve our patients. And if we are not satisfied with the status quo of the current system, the only way we will be able to bring about change is by knowing what is broken – and what we can do to fix it.
| HEALTH INSURANCE, THE UN- AND UNDERINSURED, AND WHAT WE AS MEDICAL STUDENTS CAN DO TO HELP |
There’s little doubt that there is a crisis mounting in health care. Too many people are uninsured, and a growing number of people are underinsured:
But what can we as students do to help? There are many things we can do, including lobbying state and national governments to expand health care coverage. Closer to home, we can also work with clinics who serve the un- and underinsured by volunteering to help raise funds, supplies, and public awareness. This report looks at a sample of clinics that serve the un- and underinsured across America, and offers tips and suggestions as to what we as students can do to help.