Medical Students Have Mixed Knowledge and Expectations of ACA

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tyler Winkelman, M.D.
Internal Medicine and Pediatrics – PGY 4
University of Minnesota

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Winkelman: Future physicians will practice after key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been enacted.  Whether medical students support or understand the legislation or are willing to engage in its implementation or modification as part of their professional obligation is unknown.  We surveyed medical students at 8 U.S. medical schools to assess their views and knowledge of the ACA (RR=52%).  We found that the majority of students support the ACA and indicate a professional obligation to assist with its implementation. There are, however, gaps in knowledge with regards to Medicaid expansion and insurance plans available within the health exchanges.  Students anticipating a surgical or procedural specialty, compared to those anticipating a medical specialty, were less likely to support the ACA, less likely to indicate a professional obligation to implement the ACA, and more likely to have negative expectation of the ACA.  Moderates, liberals, and those with above average knowledge scores were more likely to support the ACA and indicate a professional obligation to assist with its implementation.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Winkelman: Our results suggest that future physicians are willing to engage with health care reform legislation that aims to expand access to care.  Whether students are adequately prepared to effectively engage in implementation or modification of health care reform measures is less clear.  By embracing health policy and public health curricula, medical schools can ensure future physicians are prepared to engage with health reform measures that provide improved access and higher quality at lower cost.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Winkelman: Whether students’ reported support for health care legislation leads to increased participation in Medicaid as physicians should be explored.  How and why students’ views change through residency and beyond could also be examined.

 Citation:

Medical Students’ Views and Knowledge of the Affordable Care Act: A Survey of Eight U.S. Medical Schools
Tyler N. A. Winkelman MD, Lisa Soleymani Lehmann MD, PhD, MSc, et al
Journal of General Internal Medicine
March 2015 Date: 10 Mar 2015
 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tyler Winkelman, M.D. (2015). Medical Students Have Mixed Knowledge and Expectations of ACA

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