MEDICAL SCHOOLS: TEACHING THE BUSINESS OF MEDICINE
Johns Hopkins University and other medical schools acrossThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
the country are "teaching medical professionals the
administrative side of medicine," Baltimore SUN reports.
According to the SUN, "Having done battle with business, these
medical professionals have decided not so much to join it, but to
understand it, to arm themselves by learning its language and
thought systems and methods." The "growth and popularity of"
programs teaching medical professionals the administrative side
of medicine "is clearly part of a national trend," SUN reports.
With the growth of managed care, "doctors found themselves
interacting with the marketplace in unfamiliar ways." Doctors
are enrolling in the programs "in hopes of preparing themselves
for administrative positions in the hospital or medical school."
However, "many say they feel they need familiarity with business
tools to do their current jobs."
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT: Johns Hopkins began offering its
"business-of-health program" three years ago. Students can
receive a certificate following a year of study, but most
students "have chosen to attend for four years and get an" MBA.
The program was originally limited to Hopkins physicians, but
"now includes other clinical professionals such as nurses, and
some health administrators who are not clinicians." Other
schools offering medical business programs include the University
of Utah, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of
Business, Duke University, Tufts University, the University of
Wisconsin and the University of California at Irvine. SUN notes
that the schools offer a "mix of degrees" and a "mix of ways of
delivering the instruction." Several schools are even beginning
to offer "'distance learning,' including Internet connections."
TIMES 'A CHANGIN': Dr. Mark Richardson, deputy director of
the department of otolaryngology at Hopkins, said, "I think we're
all here because we realize there are a lot of business practices
that are being applied to the practice of medicine." David
Heaphy, assistant dean of the Hopkins medical school, said,
"'Survival is the big thing' that attracts students to the
Hopkins program." He said, "Managed care was like a wave coming
across the country, and they wanted to be prepared" (Salganik,
MINNESOTA MOVE: In related news, the University of
Minnesota has moved its "professional training program for health
care administrators" from the School of Public Health to the
Carlson School of Management. Carlson School Dean David Kidwell
said, "Health care is moving from a cottage industry to a more
sophisticated management-oriented community." He said the shift
was "a recognition ... that new leadership needs to understand
medicine and people, and at the same time they have to manage it
in a more businesslike manner." The University of Minnesota
health care administration program was named one of the top five
in the country by U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT (Howatt, Minneapolis
STAR TRIBUNE, 1/8).