A healthy balance
At the turn of the 20th century, Abraham Flexner, a research scholar at the Carnegie Foundation, visited the 155 medical schools then in operation in the US and Canada, on a fact-finding mission about the quality and standards of modern medical education.
His findings, documented in the Flexner Report, were often scathing; he characterised some as "indescribably foul", and one in particular as "the plague spot of the nation". About half the schools closed as a result of his report, and the curriculum he proposed - two years of basic science classes, followed by two years of clinical rotations - quickly became the norm.
Today, this curriculum is standard, and it leaves little room for anything else. Many medical students graduate with no idea how insurance works or how to set up a practice.
But at a time when issues such as the rising cost of health insurance and an ageing population dominate the political agenda, many students are coming to the realisation that this traditional approach is no longer sufficient. An increasing number are augmenting their medical education with a joint MD/MBA...
..."Healthcare is not done in a vacuum," says Don Melville, director of MBA and masters programmes at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill. "A physician who knows his or her speciality, but who also knows the administrative side of things is able to make the best decisions, and maximise the efficiency and value of the system."
Read full article: Financial Times, January 30, 2012