by Becky Jacoby
, Reporter | June 23, 2008
In a recent report, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated economic influence tops the list of issues pertaining to radiology education in developing countries.
Private institutions receive economic support from private insurance companies where investing in training and newer radiology equipment creates a cost benefit, a faster return of capital. For less economically supported facilities, training falls behind and a ripple effect occurs: radiologists who receive training at public or university-associated programs emigrate to private institutions, less experienced staff are left in charge of postgraduate education, standards tumble and programs fade to obsolescence.
Ramirez-Arias, MD and Rodriguez-Trevino, MD from the School of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and Gonzalez-Vergara, MD, School of Medicine, Universidad La Salle Mexico, Mexico issued a commentary which proposes a concierge medicine model to address education and physician issues. Concierge (boutique or platinum) medicine implies enlisting preset protocols for which patients pay an annual fee. For the provider, the protocols address income levels, malpractice insurance costs, and numbers of patients. Patient benefits suggest better and more attention from physicians and access to preventive care.
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With modern radiology education being based on new concepts of adult learning and evidenced-based programs, does the concierge model meet educational needs for radiologists?
WHO suggests other methods for increasing educational standards: a need to qualify radiologists who teach, support for mentoring services, and access to professional and peer associations.