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Medical Schools Need to be Revamped

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					One of the best ways to reform health care is to start at the very beginning. There are
great measures that can be taken before people become doctors that can have huge
(positive) effects on the entire system. You see, there are many issues that begin at the
medical school level, long before doctors have ever obtained their MD degrees, that
snowball into later periods and eventually lead to issues that are at the heart of the
problems plaguing our current health care system. By addresing some issues in the
beginning, we can prevent some of the problems from occurring later. Let's call this
an educational system version of early detection and treatment.
  Let us start with one of the biggest issues facing health care now and work
backwords. The biggest issue for most Americans in the price. Due to insurance
policies and/or current illnesses, some may feel this sting more than others.
Nonetheless, health care costs are gaining a percentage of the national GDP every
year. Our economy simply cannot continue to function if medical costs put a
stranghold on the nation's disposable income. One of the problems with this lies with
simple supply and demand. Demand for medical services is nearly infinite (so long as
people choose to stay alive) and supply definitely finite. In fact, it is very finite. One
need not watch the news for very long to hear someone reference the great shortage of
medical professionals. The biggest reason for this is that there are a finite number of
medical schools with a finite number of slots in each class available.
  We need to open more medical schools and expand ones currently in existence.
Creating more doctors increases the supply and drives the prices down. This is simple
economics. People may think the current sizes are optimal, but they should realize
that medical schools are currently run by medical professionals. Greatly increasing the
supply of doctors is not in their best interest. By maintaining a steady demand for
doctors in the industry, salaries stay higher. By maintaining a growing demand for
medical school slots, med schools can charge higher wages. It's good for those geese,
but not for the gander.
  Another major problem is the cost of medical school. It is flat out astronomical.
Many doctors come out of six year programs with well over six figures worth of debt.
If you're thinking "big deal, they can afford it (eventually), it doesn't affect me" - think
again. They are not going to pay that off by going through couch cushions, they're
going to make that up (either directly or indirectly) through patient fees. This affects
everyone.
  While there is no clean and easy solution that benefits everyone immediately -
medical schools in Cleveland and Orlando have been offered to qualifying students
for free with positive early results. While these schools are publicly funded, the
argument is that they cost the public far less in the short term compared to eventual
overall costs. This argument is backed by pretty strong evidence when surveying the
current lay of the land.
  Another solution would be to work with foreign medical schools to line up their
curriculums more so with American requirements. While many of these schools are
currently viewed as degree mills, dangling the carrot of accreditation with them would
go a long way to ensuring that they have acceptable standards and curriculums. This
solution is not idea, it would be difficult to control entitities that operate abroad, but it
is a possible solution that does not represent one extra dime paid by American
taxpayers.
  The bottom line is this: more doctors = lower costs.
  - Felix Chesterfield
  Other items:
  MD Schools
  Caribbean Medical Schools