With healthcare costs still rising, even before full implementation of the vastly-unpopular Obamacare, many health professionals are still trying to figure out a good way (or several ways) to reduce the price tag of medical care. Bioethicist Zeke Emanuel (brother of Chicago’s Rahm) and healthcare policy professor Victor Fuchs think that a good place to take a scalpel is med school.
In an op-ed to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the two argue that “there is substantial waste in the education and training of US physicians. Years of training have been added without evidence that they enhance clinical skills.” But wait, how long does it take to become an MD from start to finish? About fourteen years. Emanuel and Fuchs say shorten that by 30%.
A lot of the proposed cutting affects med school. They say that the only reason med school is four years long is because a report recommended it be that long… back in 1910. Most doctors can apparently be trained faster, and a few schools are taking the lead and training doctors faster. The proposed trimming of medical training by 30% (making it 10 years instead of 14) could trim doctor’s salaries.
According to the Washington Post, the average doctor tumbles out of med school roughly $160,000 in student loan debt. The cost is usually used to justify the high salaries of doctors, which are twice as high in the US as they are in most other countries.
Do you think trimming med school will help cut costs? Or will we just end up trading costs for… well… crappier doctors?