There have been few changes to medical education since Abraham Flexner established the two years of sciences and two years of clinical cirriculum in 1910. With emphasis on value-based care, managing populations and chronic diseases, this shift in care must start with reimagining medical education for future physicians.

A panel of physicians gathered during a morning session at the SXSW Conference to discuss the need to redesign medical curriculum, and that starts with a realization that “the competencies physicians need to be good health care providers and leaders are different now than they were ten or twenty years ago,” said Susan Cox, M.D., executive vice dean for academics, chair, department of medical education, Dell Medical School, the University of Texas at Austin.

She opened up the panel discussion, which included Bon Ku, M.D., associate professor and the assistant dean for health and design at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Erin Kane, M.D., physician, department of emergency medicine, Johns Hopkins, and Sarah Kim, M.D., associate professor, University of California San Francisco, by asking the panel what trends in health care will affect students and residents the greatest?

How much does that cost, doc?

Kane raised an issue that was discussed during other health sessions, and that is the lack of information physicians have about cost to patients. Many want to know how much a scan will cost or which pharmacy has the cheaper price for their prescription. She offered an analogy on the problem.

“If you took your car to the shop and the mechanic told you, ‘I’m going to keep your car for three days, it’s going to cost a lot, but I can’t tell you exactly how much, and at the end of that it may or may not run better — that’s basically what we do in health care today,” she said.

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