Opportunities for the Cost Reduction of Medical Care

Monte Malach; W.J. Baumol


J Community Health. 2009;34(4):255-261. 

In This Article

Medical Education

Medical education, appropriately modified from current practice, is also a promising vehicle for increased cost efficiency, provided there are changes in the focus of premedical and medical training. Part of the problem is the growing pattern of current medical education, with its focus upon teaching by subspecialists, rather than broad-based practitioners. It has been noted,[46,47,48] attending physicians of long experience are indispensable interpreters of information provided by the computer, contributing analysis and judgment that otherwise cannot be provided.

The American public is now much more informed about medicine and procedures, thanks largely to the internet and news media. The patients, now more than ever, can help themselves. As suggested by Brownlee,[49] patients need to find a doctor in the needed specialty with whom they can communicate. The benefits and risks of procedures or tests need to be understood. Overutilization of health care may not only be unjustifiably expensive, but can at least sometimes actually be dangerous.


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