Is there a book or source for pre-med's to learn about how healthcare works?

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drdan83

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Apr 20, 2011
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I was at my internship today and the attending was discussing various aspects of the "business of medicine" with the residents. Is there a book or books that will sum up what a pre-med should know?

They were talking about medicare, HMO's, billing and efficiency and I was clueless. As a pre-med I still have that naive view of medicine and I don't understand the paperwork or business-aspect. I know you understand this stuff when you see it daily but I want to get a background on these issues.

Any recommendations?
 

OBK

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i think speaking with doctors is the best way to learn. short of that, reading features in major papers (nyt, washington post, cnn health) is a good way to stay current on changes in the topics you mentioned
 

DrMidlife

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I recommend the books by Atul Gawande, Better and Complications, which are collections of well-researched anecdotes with context and background, covering various issues in current healthcare business and policy. Gawande is a surgeon who does journalism on the side.

I started reading the health pages of the NYT and the WSJ online, everyday, about 4 years ago. The WSJ gives a business focus, and the NYT gives a political focus, imho. I think of these sources as a few daily bites that keep me current. During the PCA debates, the contradictions between the two sources were highly enlightening (and entertaining, for healthcare policy geeks like me).

Be prepared to be more confused after you start reading. If you've worked in a large corporation, you'll recognize many of the issues as common.

Best of luck toyou.
 
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drdan83

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Apr 20, 2011
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Thanks for the replies.

I was looking for a book or even a textbook that discusses how "medicine works." As I said before, I am a naive pre-med and I would like to do whatever I can to help a patient. Obviously it doesn't work like that in the real world. Did you read a book that helped you understand this idea?
 
Jan 3, 2011
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In a previous life, when I still thought I was going to finish an RHIT program instead of going for broke on the med school thing, I took a class called Dynamics of Healthcare that was required for that AAS.... if you're interested, I can look up what the required textbook is for that class this semester and pass that info along to you. It was a very helpful class, and I bet you could find the book cheap somewhere on Amazon.
 

drdan83

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Apr 20, 2011
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Other Health Professions Student
In a previous life, when I still thought I was going to finish an RHIT program instead of going for broke on the med school thing, I took a class called Dynamics of Healthcare that was required for that AAS.... if you're interested, I can look up what the required textbook is for that class this semester and pass that info along to you. It was a very helpful class, and I bet you could find the book cheap somewhere on Amazon.

Sure, I'm interested.

I appreciate you taking the time.
 
Jan 3, 2011
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It looks like they're using one called "Essentials of the U.S. Health Care System" now, by Leiyu Shu. Hunt around and see if there's an older edition somewhere out there that you can pick up cheap. :)
 

45408

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Not really. You have to learn a lot of these things on the fly.
 
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