Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

The Pitfalls of Regulating Academia

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

The Pitfalls of Regulating Academia

Article excerpt

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and multiple other national, state, and local agencies are very, very busy, ensuring quality of care. No one can argue with the desired goal--an educated, responsible, ethical physician and health care workforce.

However, in trying to document adherence to multiplying mandates from outside agencies, the academic medical community and practicing physicians have drained funds, time, and energy from patient care, education, and investigation. It is also demoralizing for teachers and physicians to be told again and again that someone at a distance knows what's best for their students and their patients.

As a teacher and clinician, my time seems to be more frequently spent on evaluation and documentation rather than education and contemplation. The increasing educational requirements for residents and students seem to assume that unless a topic is covered overtly in medical school or in residency, the chance is lost forever that doctors in training will ever be able to acquire knowledge of it by dint of their own circumstantial needs and drive to excellence. We seem to accept that practitioners will not do the right thing unless instructed to do so under peril.

Medical schools and physicians improved the practice and science of medicine immensely from the 1960s through the 1980s, a period relatively free from agencies dictating the minutiae of medical education and practice.

Medical care back then was far from perfect: Many patients were badly cared for, scientific investigation (intrinsic to its nature) sometimes led to wrong conclusions, and medical education had its great flaws. But many positive things took place as well because of the dedication, pride, and care of doctors for their craft.

When did we all become suspect as rascals and slackers? …

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