Why so many med school faculty are fed up

The blog Health Care Renewal despairs over the results of a recent survey of more than 5000 faculty members at 26 nationally representative American medical schools, which produced this sample of results:

51% agreed that ‘the administration is only interested in me for the revenue I generate’; 31%; that ‘the culture of my institution discourages altruism’; 31%, that other people have taken credit for my work’; and 30% that ‘I am reluctant to express my opinion for fear of negative consequences.’ Half perceived that the institution does not value teaching and 27% that it does not reward clinical excellence; Over half disagreed with the statement that their own values are aligned with those of the institution. Also, 30% had seriously considered leaving academic medicine and 46% their own institution, both in the prior year.

Its general reaction:

These results show that US medical education is in moral crisis, and probably close to catastrophe. … Shame on all of us for letting us get to this place.

  • Gunirj

    Of course., a sense that medical education/research is a holy calling, and chronic underfunding leads desperate (and often self-aggrandizing leaders) to believe the end justifies the means. They are usually behind the curve – expecting the faculty t0 support itself from dwindling research funds and inadequate patient revenues. Furthermore, we are perpetuating a fraud on the students – they borrow enough money to buy a house and end up with jobs that won’t permit them to pay it back and raise a family.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting “ends-justifies-the-means” point that you made. The cynic in me wonders whether the view of medicine as a “holy calling” in society as a whole has led (at least in the past) to a lack of healthy scrutiny. Regarding the long string of conflicts of interest we’ve been seeing, I also wonder whether most old-school physicians “get it.” Perhaps the overhaul of med school ethics policies might help a higher standard become ingrained in current and future students.