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September 2, 1992

Health Care Reform and the Medical Education Imperative

Author Affiliations

From the Executive Vice President, American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 1992;268(9):1133-1134. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490090079018

As the ability of the US health care system to meet all the demands placed on it is increasingly challenged, there is hardly a group or organization that does not have a proposal or an ideology to solve the problems of health care costs and access.

Notably absent, however, is the notion that if we are to change and improve the present health care system, we must consider how physicians are educated. It is in the earliest days of medical school and residency that physicians' values and attitudes toward their profession are most influenced. A health care system as massive as ours cannot be changed without changing how physicians are educated at all levels. Indeed, a Flexner-like study for the 1990s would be useful, not because medical education is bad, but because it needs to be different. Today, nothing can be considered "business as usual."

Challenges to Medical Education  The