This Month's News
Report examines variation in care, its importance in residency training
Variations in how care is delivered at leading academic medical centers play a key role in how future physicians trained at those institutions will practice, according to a new report from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
The report's authors state that "hospitals providing higher intensity care are not necessarily providing higher quality or better patient experiences. Hence, training at hospitals with less intensive utilization patterns may better prepare residents to provide higher quality care that respects patient preferences."
A commentary on the report in The Atlantic asked, "Does training at a prestigious hospital mean residents will become good doctors? Maybe not." Another commentary, from the Association of American Medical Colleges, calls for more context and "proceeding with caution" and argues that data do not equal knowledge.
Meanwhile, a study in Health Affairs "found that the overall costs incurred by doctors with less than a decade of experience was more than 13% higher than those of physicians who had been practicing medicine for 40 years or more," reported American Medical News. One expert speculates that the "culture of abundance" in large medical facilities, where the bulk of new physicians are trained, may contribute to this higher rate of use.
The AMA's FREIDA Online® database is a popular source of information and data for medical students and resident physicians searching for residency and fellowship programs. The FREIDA Online database comprises more than 9,000 graduate medical education programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, as well as over 100 combined specialty programs.