A Framework for Evaluating Student Perceptions of Health Policy Training in Medical School
ABSTRACT Problem Nearly half of graduating medical students in the United States report that medical school provides inadequate instruction in topics related to health policy. Although most medical schools report some form of policy education, there lacks a standard for teaching core concepts and evaluating student satisfaction. Approach Responses to the Association of American Medical College's Medical School Graduation Questionnaire were obtained for the years 2007-2008 and 2011-2012 and mapped to domains of training in health policy curricula for four domains: systems and principles; value and equity; quality and safety; and politics and law. Chi-square tests were used to test differences among unadjusted temporal trends. Multiple logistic regression models were fit to the outcome variables and adjusted for student characteristics, student preferences, and medical school characteristics. Outcomes Compared with 2007-2008, students' perceptions of training in 2011-2012 increased on a relative basis by 11.7% for components within systems and principles, 2.8% for quality and safety, and 6.8% for value and equity. Components within politics and law had a composite decline of 4.8%. Multiple logistic regression models found higher odds of reporting satisfaction with training over time for all components within the domains of systems and principles, quality and safety, and value and equity (P < .01), with the exception of medical economics. Next Steps Medical student perceptions of training in health policy improved over time. Causal factors for these trends require further study. Despite improvement, nearly 40% of graduating medical students still report inadequate instruction in health policy.
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ABSTRACT: Increasingly, physicians and policy experts have been issuing calls for a greater emphasis on health policy education in medical school (see, for example, the Perspective article by Patel et al. in the February 24 issue of the Journal). During our first year of medical school, we were fortunate to benefit from a comprehensive and mandatory 40-hour course on health policy. However, our conversations with peers at other medical schools made it clear that this was not a common experience. Given the importance of the subject, particularly in the context of the contentious and continuing debates over health care reform, . . .New England Journal of Medicine 02/2011; 364(10):e19. DOI:10.1056/NEJMp1101603
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