Call for Medical Schools to Teach Students Health Policy Issues Facing Patients

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Media Contact:Marc Kaplan | marc.kaplan@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-662-2560February 23, 2011

PHILADELPHIA -- How would you like your car to be fixed by someone who had no knowledge of what it was like to drive? That’s the dilemma facing medical students whose training is focused on learning about medicine in medical school, but spend practically no class time learning about the real life obstacle course of the health care system which every one of their patients must learn to navigate.

“As a resident, I routinely care for patients who cannot afford their medications or don’t have access to regular medical care,” says Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, a second year internal medicine resident at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the author of a new column in the New England Journal of Medicine calling for a standardized core health policy curriculum to be collectively adopted by schools throughout the country. “These issues have a major impact on the delivery and cost of health care. However, they are rarely discussed in educational lectures or during teaching rounds.”

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