Quality Metric Medical School

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Here is some interesting news.   It seems the HMO giant Kaiser Permanente plans to launch a medical school in Southern California.  The massive “nonprofit” health system doesn’t know where it will be but the first class will start in 2019.  Wow, is it that easy to start your own medical school?  And if Kaiser can do it will we see UnitedHealth or Aetna to follow?  Kaiser wants to be cutting edge on this which is administralian speak for creating Robodocs.  Examples from this Los Angeles Times article includes:

  • It will move closer to the company’s commitment of rapidly adopting new technology and adhering to the latest medical evidence in patient care.
  • “We have the opportunity to help train future physicians on 21st century medicine and be on the cutting edge of all the changes we are experiencing,” Tyson said. “Our model of care is best for the current and future diverse populations in this country.”
  •  “It’s all about the move toward population health and it’s all about teamwork. … The whole philosophy and culture is quite different,” he said..
  • Kaiser will be creating a steady supply of physicians it can hire, though its graduates won’t be under any obligation to work for Kaiser.

It’s actually brilliant.  The goal is to change medicine forever.  They will create a stream of Robodocs who think of people only as numbers and treat populations in order to control costs.  I see a future of more impersonal physicians who get paid on unproven quality metrics and whose true goal is to save their employers (hospital systems) money.  Can anyone else hear Dr. Evil laughing?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “Quality Metric Medical School

  1. Seneca
    December 21, 2015 at 7:34 am

    When is the Pfizer med school going to open so that they can train new physicians to be the first on their block to write new (particularly Pfizer manufactured) drugs?

  2. Bridget Reidy MD
    December 20, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I think established medical schools are already quite biased by market forces. Where are the geriatricians, or scholarly types for primary care or whatever else we truly need more thought and teaching and research in? Perhaps not being in a specialty doing research that will make someone money is a way to be pushed out of influence. And I can’t help but wonder if the basic science is being covered like it used to. As I learn new information based only on what has been proven, what is required in the drug inserts, and see less and less about why we think it works, I can’t help but wonder if the young ones are getting the basic science in pharmacology and physiology that made me able see what trends were likely to be proven wrong over the course of my career so far.

  3. Beth
    December 20, 2015 at 10:54 am

    This is doubly scary in that Kaiser will ask us to pay for their indoctrination school to be paid for with our tax dollars. It is called a public/private partnership. When will we start saying no?

  4. Steve O'
    December 20, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Wow. Think of the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of dollars it costs to open a medical school, and Kaiser must have lost SO much money in the current, inefficient medical system that is breaking into the Brave New World of Medicine.

    The reason for medical schools, after all, is licensure – and licensure exists for blame. The clerk at Dillard’s can’t be sued for selling you that XL sweater that doesn’t fit, nor can the Indonesian sweatshop. [The possibility you’ve gained weight is not under consideration.]

    But in medicine, you need a target, and thus you need a license bearer to carry the culpability of the organization. As the physicians length-of-practice will be limited by the time between licensure and litigation, more cannon fodder bright young minds will be needed.

    Gone is the conflict of interest! where the citizens of California underwrote the cost of medical education so that they reap the benefits of physician practice! Un-uh! Now, the insurance company will be teaching bright young minds how to dance the intricate shuffle that is New Medicine! A more natural approach – letting nature take its course – saves money, too. How to calculate when a patient “goes in the red” on the balance of lifetime healthcare benefits paid minus costs incurred, and what to do for them (SQ alfentanil’s always in good taste!)

    I shudder with excitement to think of the New Medicine and what it stands for.

  5. Pat
    December 20, 2015 at 9:25 am

    That is ingenious. In reality, they will be creating a new level of insurance agents, with a slightly better grasp of physiology and anatomy, and therefore better able to give PR and legal cover to denial decisions.

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