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What Doctors Aren’t Learning In Medical School And Why It Matters

By Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA

In the 1960s, America’s doctor was Marcus Welby, a family physician who made house calls, didn’t charge patients who couldn’t afford it, and maybe even delivered a calf on the side of the road—all before performing difficult neurosurgery on a child before the end of the show.

This generation’s favorite doctor is Gregory House: drug addicted, narcissistic and, of course, analytically brilliant.

Physicians have gone from saints to sinners in the public’s eye, which is why the results of athenahealth’s ninth “Epocrates Future Physicians Of America Survey” don’t surprise me. If you didn’t see it, this survey asked 1,462 medical students to share their opinions about topics impacting the medical profession.

  • Although nearly all of them felt well prepared in terms of medical knowledge, only ten percent of them would seek solo or partnership practice.
  • An impressive 96 percent of students believe that to deliver high quality care, it is important to collaborate effectively with extended care teams, including registered nurses, physician assistants, specialists, and medical staff (a stance not often shared by the medical societies they may soon be joining).
  • However, nearly 60 percent consider lack of communication between care teams the biggest obstacle to effective care coordination. In fact, concerns about inadequate cross-team communication was acknowledged by seventy-five percent of students surveyed.


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