I know absolutely nothing about US healthcare. Plese help

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Virgil, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I really would like to take a class in US healthcare this fall but it will be difficult to fit it into my schedule. Is a class necessary or can I just pick up a book? I'm guessing the topic is huge and a single book won't do it justice.

    It seems this is not taught much, if at all, in medical school. If I'm going to be a doctor, shouldn't I be well versed in the practice of medicine in this country?
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. flaahless

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I took a class but I guess I could have learned from a book. My textbook was Jonas and Kovner and I highly recommend it.
     
  4. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    31,005
    Likes Received:
    9,859
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    It's not taught in med school because it is something that absolutely will have changed in the many years before any med student gets out of training. So it's not useful schooling. And it's not really info you are going to be able to use, unless you are one of the 0.0001% who go into health policy. Probably the best way to learn about US healthcare is to start reading the newspaper. This is not a classroom subject. This is a current events subject.
     
  5. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thank you for that great insight. However, I find myself lost in discussions/newspaper articles about current healthcare policy. I feel I am lacking the foundation necessary to understand and think critically about these contemporary topics. How can I gain the background knowledge necessary to really understand what's going on?
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    31,005
    Likes Received:
    9,859
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Find better news articles then. Newspapers are written for the public, not folks who took special classes. So you really ought to be able to get up to speed on your own because everyone else does, even folks with non-specialized schooling. Do online searches for healthcare on various newspaper sites and start reading. You are sure to find some hot topics. Seriously, this is not a classroom-necessary topic. It is an informed member of the public topic.
     
  7. Gut Shot

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    104
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    OMG, what terrible advice. The boy wants to be a physician, and you're telling not to bother learning about the health care system? Did you hit the bars after a night on call?

    OP, try Bodenheimer's Understanding Health Policy.
     
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    31,005
    Likes Received:
    9,859
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Um no, I said nothing like that. I said that you don't take a class to learn about US healthcare -- it's not a med school taught course for good reason. You learn about the issues in the news FROM the news. Read up on US healthcare in news articles. Because the debate going on is going on in the media and political frontier, not in schools. So to ask "what class do I take" is the wrong inquiry, plain and simple. Time to realize that most of your learning in life doesn't come from a professor. It's hard to do that coming from so many years of classroom education, but it's the truth.
     
  9. Gut Shot

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    104
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Um, here's what you said: So it's not useful schooling. And it's not really info you are going to be able to use, unless you are one of the 0.0001% who go into health policy.

    Perhaps this isn't what you meant, but my take was simple: you won't need or use the info, so don't bother.

    Yeah, apparently it comes from some guy in an internet forum.
     
  10. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    31,005
    Likes Received:
    9,859
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    You misread (took a sentence out of context). This was a response to why it isn't taught in med school. (his comment "It seems this is not taught much, if at all, in medical school.") I stand by my response to that context. It makes NO sense to teach this in med school. I then continued "Probably the best way to learn about US healthcare is to start reading the newspaper.". Seemed pretty self explanatory to me. Sorry you were confused.
     
  11. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    31,005
    Likes Received:
    9,859
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Um no dude it comes from reading up on current events. As I said in several posts on this thread already.
     
  12. Gut Shot

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    104
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Perhaps if you stopped spouting off for a moment and actually read the OP, here is the problem with just "reading up on current events:"

     
  13. Gut Shot

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    104
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I don't think it was a confusion-based issue. The tone of your response was very "well, it's not really useful, but if you have to, just read some newspapers or something." I submit that most other readers would take it the same way I did.
     
  14. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    31,005
    Likes Received:
    9,859
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I apologize if my tone was misconstrued. I think our subsequent dialog should clear up any confusion.
     
  15. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  16. Gut Shot

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    104
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    No worries. I apologize if I woke up unusually feisty.
     
  17. gump

    gump Living the dream...

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    No, we didn't. And, yes, I speak for all other SDN members.:rolleyes:
     
  18. Gut Shot

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    104
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    So Texas is where you all meet. Dammit, why wasn't I invited?
     
  19. gump

    gump Living the dream...

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I sent you an invite but I guess you were buried.
     
  20. CoolSpot7Up

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    OP, I found this to be a good article to get some background on what our healthcare system is like and what needs to be done:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18802

    If you want more background on certain programs like Medicare or Medicaid, just google it and read wikipedia.

    Notice, this was written in 2006. After reviewing this article, start reading CNN's or any other news network's healthcare policy stories. Then, I would suggest reading Obama/Clinton/McCain's healthcare plans to get some idea what they were proposing. Good luck!
     
  21. ACSurgeon

    ACSurgeon Acute Care Surgeon
    Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,817
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    No, you don't! ;)
     
  22. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    31,005
    Likes Received:
    9,859
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I'm not sure Clinton's plan is relevant any more. That cuts your reading down by a third.
     
  23. CoolSpot7Up

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Yeah, she's out of the runnings, but it still could be informational to know the different possibilities out there.
     
  24. WellWornLad

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    30
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    If you're interested in how medicine has evolved in this country, I highly recommend Paul Starr's "The Social Transformation of American Medicine:"

    http://books.google.com/books?id=FK4pBXGvQzoC&vq=%22The+Social+Transformation+Of+American+Medicine%22+Basic+Books&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0

    While it won't fill you in on current events, it gives you an invaluable perspective on how we got here. It's also entertaining to read about the "good ole days" when medical school was optional, Harvard was begging for students, and residency was basically a two year apprenticeship.
     
  25. GoldShadow

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,262
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I read this book on my own time and found it to be very helpful, so I'll second this.
     
  26. 8744

    8744 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Messages:
    9,323
    Likes Received:
    165
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Here's all you have to know:

    Scenario 1:

    87-year-old women with severe dementia, history of strokes with permanent aphasia, difficulty swallowing and a PEG tube for feeding; severe lung disease breathes through a tracheostomy because of difficulty protecting her airway, congestive heart failure on digoxin, coronary artery disease with a recent triple bypass and five stents, end-stage renal failure being dialyzed through a port while her fistula matures; diabetic, nearly blind, left below-knee amputation; history of colon cancer with a resection of her colon and a colostomy bag; angry decubitous ulcers getting bigger by the week; on about thirty different medications that have accumulated on her like barnacles during her long swim through the murky seas of the medical system, five of them are psychiatric medications. Does not speak, stares at the ceiling all day.

    Chief Complaint: Altered Mental Status...ready...go....

    Labs, CT scan of the head, cardiac enzymes, neurology consult...$5000 bucks easy, possible admission and even more money...repeat for the next two years every couple of months.

    If I'm lying, I'm dying.
     
  27. Virgil

    Virgil Hi hi!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    655
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Would it be a really dumb idea to say something like this in an interview?

    I once shadowed a cardiothoracic surgeon...and when they were closing up the nurses noticed that the count for the sutures/misc. supplies was wrong. So he got really angry at everybody for putting music on during the surgery/being absent minded/talking about irrelevant stuff. He said, "if they ask you in the interview what the biggest problem with healthcare is today, tell them this is it." I laughed it off and thought he was joking but the more I think about it, maybe there is some wisdom in what he said. As a doctor, the biggest problem in healthcare is the single biggest problem which affects your ability to take care of your patients, and this may vary depending on whether you are a pediatrician or, say, an ENT. For him it was people messing around during surgery. For others, it might be insurance reimbursements or malpractice anxiety--these things play a huge adverse role in their ability to take care of their patients. Healtcare policy is constantly changing, for better or for worse, but what a doctor must be concious about is how it currently impacts his or her ability to take care of his or her patients.
     
  28. JuviJuice8

    JuviJuice8 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thomas Bodenheimer has a good text book out that we used in my "American Healthcare Systems" class. I'm a Health Policy major, and that was our entry level course
     
  29. Beamer128

    Beamer128 You can stand anything for 10 seconds

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    One book that I found pretty useful was Health Care Meltdown by Robert LeBow...I read the older version but apparently there's a revised version which has chapters on current health care issues.
     
  30. HigHal320

    HigHal320 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    3
    i used "Understanding health policy" by by Thomas S. Bodenheimer and Kevin Grumbach. A short read with some good comparisons between Japan/USA/UK/Canada health care system.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0071423117
    I believe there's a new edition out.
     
  31. maggie08

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    932
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Bump
     

Share This Page