Educating residents about managed care: A partnership between an academic medical center and a managed care organization
Academic Medical Centers
Internship and Residency
Managed Care Programs
Physicians are taught to think in terms of individual patients rather than in terms of the health of a population, a view typically reinforced by residency training. Managers of managed care organizations estimate that it takes between one and two years of additional post-residency experience to prepare graduates of U.S. residency programs to practice in managed care settings. The authors describe a two-week block rotation in managed care and health system change that is required of all third-year medical residents at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center. The program was developed through a partnership between the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Empire BlueCross BlueShield. The authors discuss the rationale, curriculum content, teaching methods, and evaluation of the program, which is designed not only to educate residents about managed care but also to enable them to think critically about the changing health care system. The results of the program have exceeded expectations. Residents' knowledge of health economics, managed care concepts, and health system change, as measured by pre- and post-rotation tests, has shown a steep learning curve. Further, the residents have consistently given the rotation the highest ratings, and some residents have changed their career plans as a result of their participation. The program, which continues to expand, has demonstrated the potential of collaboration between traditional adversaries, an academic medical center and a managed care insurance company, and provides a replicable model for similar partnerships.