Years of education and training properly prepare aspiring anesthesiologists for the clinical demands and challenges of the position. It’s very rare to find an anesthesiologist that is ill-equipped to tackle the rigors that come along with clinical practice, but that isn’t the only component that defines a well-trained physician.
According to a study presented at this year’s American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Conference on Practice Management, a common theme emerging among young anesthesiologists is the lack of preparation for the nuances of practice and business management.
Responding to a survey put forth by a team of researchers at the Tulane University School of Medicine, respondents expressed concern that residents in anesthesiology receive far too little exposure to key issues in billing, reimbursement, liability, contracts, and other important factors.
Of the 3,600 clinicians who responded to the survey (surveys were sent to the entire ASA membership), a strong majority stated that residency programs focused too little on practice management. While this may seem unimportant given that the status quo is patient safety, an overwhelming 84% believed that proper exposure to practice management protocol could improve patient care and outcomes, quality, safety, and containment of health care costs.
“As the dynamic of the healthcare industry has changed drastically in recent years, the role of anesthesiologist has expanded from simply a clinical provider to an all-encompassing practice manager,” said Robert Goldstein, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Somnia Anesthesia. “Therefore, it is imperative for residency programs to begin to incorporate other areas of training and provide young doctors with a more holistic approach to their practice of anesthesiology.”