Source Newsroom: Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
Newswise — (Dallas, Texas – Nov. 30, 2012) While the nation’s medical education system – which provides training for both physicians-to-be as well as physicians in mid-career – serves the nation well, it has gaps and weaknesses that should be addressed, according to a state regulator writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Regulation.
In a guest commentary, Blake T. Maresh, Executive Director of the Washington Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, cites several key issues in medical education, including the affordability and accessibility of undergraduate medical education; undue influence by industry in the educational system; the need for a greater emphasis on ethical training and professionalism; variability in medical testing standards and medical residency requirements; and gaps in the effectiveness of continuing education – so called “lifelong learning” -- for professionals.
Maresh suggests that medical regulators have a vested interest in ensuring that these issues are addressed, writing: “Our medical educational system creates the intellectual and ethical foundation that guides the physicians who we, as regulators, will interact with for decades to come, once they have left medical school and residency. Thus, it is in our best interests to ensure the system provides the tools and training that will lead to the safety and quality we seek as a part of our public mandate.”
Maresh suggests a number of remedies to various educational system issues, including more focus on ethics training and professionalism in medical school curricula; better synchronization of residency requirements across state borders; less variability in regulations and requirements for medical licensing examinations across state borders; a more targeted system of mid-career education, including adoption of new standards for the maintenance of medical licenses over time; and more rigorous policies for training physicians who re-enter the medical workforce after a significant time away.
“We are in a period of transition that will require new thinking about the ways we go about educating our health care workforce – and medical regulators should be vocal leaders in the national conversation that lies ahead,” Maresh writes.
The current issue of the Journal of Medical Regulation also features the fifth in a series of articles examining the history of the Federation of State Medical Boards. In the latest installment of this series, authors David Johnson and Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, explore FSMB’s growth between the years 1930 and 1959.
The Journal of Medical Regulation is a quarterly publication of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). To learn about the articles in this issue, or to subscribe to the Journal, visit www.FSMB.org and select “Publications and Media.”
About the FSMB
The FSMB is a national non-profit organization representing all medical boards within the United States and its territories that license and discipline allopathic and osteopathic physicians and, in some jurisdictions, other health care professionals. It assists these state and territorial medical boards as they go about their mandate of protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare. The FSMB leads by promoting excellence in medical practice, licensure, and regulation.