Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Training the Next Generation of Physicians

GBMC is known as a system that has excellent doctors. Educating the next generation is a great way for any professional discipline to stay on top of its game. So, it’s wonderful that GBMC sponsors an Internal Medicine Residency training program, a Colo-Rectal Surgery fellowship program, and hosts residents in Gynecology and Otolaryngology from Johns Hopkins and residents in Ophthalmology from the University of Maryland. Led by Dr. Paul Foster, our new first year medical residents began their training last week. It’s been great to see the young, smart men and women joining our healthcare system as they embark on their post-graduate training.

The environment that these interns are coming into is quite different from the one that I found when I graduated (more than a few years ago). I was curious to see what a couple of our interns thought about the work world they were entering, so I posed a few questions to get their thoughts on how the practice of medicine is changing, some of the challenges they face and some of the positives they see as a result of healthcare reform.

Medical resident Abdimomun Iuldashev, MD, comes to GBMC from Marmara University School of Medicine in Istanbul, Turkey, where he completed a one-year internship and received his medical degree. Coming from another country and culture certainly has its challenges but also provides residents like Dr. Iuldashev with new opportunities and experiences.  Bryce Harbertson, MD, is a Maryland native who received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. As a student from the U.S. educational system, Dr. Harbertson tells me that there is still a great deal of unknowns regarding the future of healthcare. It is interesting to hear their perspectives on what lies ahead for the practice of medicine:

Q: How do you see the practice of medicine changing as we move into a new era of healthcare? 

Bryce Harbertson, MD
Dr. Iuldashev: “Practicing medicine is getting better because of advances of medical technologies. By using MRI, CT, echo or other medical devices, we can diagnosis with high sensitivity and specificity. As we move into a new era of healthcare, accurate diagnosis and treatment rates are increasing so we have more satisfied patients and an increasing number of doctors satisfied with their jobs.”

Dr. Harbertson: “We will continue to see technological advances that make patient care more safe and efficient.  I imagine individual hospitals will continue to figure out how to improve communication and care coordination among physicians, nurses, techs, therapists, social workers, and other patient care services.”

Q: What are some of the challenges you may face in this new healthcare arena? 

Dr. Harbertson:  “We are going through changes that hopefully will lead to better care and lower costs. In addition, we have an always growing body of clinical evidence to help us make patient-care decisions. The challenge will be staying abreast of all the evidence so we can use it to provide cost-effective care.”

Abdimomun Iuldashev, MD
Dr. Iuldashev: “The population is aging and this means an increasing number of patients per doctor. This is causing doctors to work more and spend less time with each patient. The other challenge is that we are becoming more dependent on technologies. This is good if you practice where you have the technology, but can we become handicapped as doctors if we go to underdeveloped countries that do not have this technology?”

Q: What are some of the positive aspects of the practice of medicine today?

Dr. Iuldashev:  “Being a doctor is exceptional because every day you have a chance to make a difference in somebody’s life. Today, we have technologies that are helping us in every way. We can teleconference with hospitals thousands of miles away and watch the live procedures they are performing. We have advanced drugs that act at cellular levels, and we can treat many diseases that were untreatable in the past. These things make us lucky to practice medicine today.”

Q: How do you see the changing landscape of healthcare and healthcare reform benefiting the future of medicine?

Dr. Harbertson:  “The anticipated benefits are improved patient care in terms of quality and safety while also making it more efficient to keep costs down. I think the hope is that as more people are able to have insurance they will regularly go to PCPs. However, we have to have a sufficient number of PCPs, NPs or PAs in order to handle the increase in the number of insured patients. Perhaps as patients regularly visit their providers, they can better manage their chronic illnesses, reducing complications and hospitalizations.”

I am delighted that our young colleagues see the next years as an opportunity to improve care. Their responses show that they are aware that there are challenges ahead and that the availability of technology brings new efficiencies, but also new risks. They recognize that it is their duty to use resources wisely and that the coming increase in need brought on by the aging population will require greater teamwork and cooperation with the other members of the healthcare team. I am excited for them as they begin the next phase of their careers and I am delighted that they have come as our colleagues. Please join me in welcoming all of our new residents! Say hello to them when you meet them in the corridors of GBMC.

1 comment:

  1. How fortunate we are to have these two young men at GBMC. It's reassuring to know that people still have the desire to serve and make a difference as physicians.


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