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As cost of health care provision continues to go up, people are realizing preventive measures or emphasizing on wellness through avoiding diseases by living better lifestyles as well as better behaviors are cheaper and more effective (Sultz and Young 2011). However, this poses several challenges to the existing medical education and training system. The current system educates and trains majority of the medical practitioners on intervention measures without emphasizing on wellness maintenance. Wellness maintenance requires continued management of wellness, which the system rarely offers. Thus, the move towards wellness maintenance will require training medical practitioners on preventive measures as well with equal emphasis to intervention procedures (Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, 2010).
One of the challenges that the medical education and training system will face in the increased focus on disease prevention is the ability to establish health promotion as well as prevention of diseases as the first priority within the healthcare system. The medical education system lays more focus on intervention measures such as procedures of taking care of patients as the first priority (Sultz and Young 2011). Thus, the new focus will require the system to change the notion into one that sees preventive measures such as educating medical practitioners on the healthier lifestyles and positives behaviors that could help in maintaining wellness as the first priority in ensuring a healthier nation. It will have to adopt the saying that, ‘prevention is better than cure.
To change the notion into one that sees preventive measures as the first priority will require changing the curriculum into one that allows the medical practitioners to learn more about healthier lifestyles as well as behaviors. This will require finances too in order to promote such learning. Wellness provision is different from treatment services, which means it will require the system to adopt a curriculum with more wellness programs. Wellness programs require practitioners maintain good health of clients as opposed to performing medical procedures on patients (Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, 2010). Therefore, the system will require training the practitioners on how to interact with clients who are not sick in an effort to maintain their health in perfect condition. Thus, distribution of finances within the medical training and education system will be affected by the orientation.
In order to provide such training, research into wellness and preventive measures is necessary. More about healthier lifestyle will require more research as to what works and what may not work. Although many people know that healthier lifestyle is better for staying healthy, very few people know the details of what lifestyle and behaviors needs to be avoided in order to maintain wellness (Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, 2010). It is up to the medical education system as well as medical research teams to team up in researching about such details in order to put it into practice. Major researches have been diverted to intervention measures, meaning the preventive measures are still not fully exploited. With the changing orientation, it will mean that the medical education system will require conducting more research on wellness maintenance.
Maintenance of wellness requires continued management of health. Wellness and disease prevention cannot be achieved in a day. This will require continuous involvement of medical practitioners through regular checkups and management of patients. Although the system offers training for management of care, it will need to focus on practitioners as providers, promoters and educators of wellness programs to clients by actively engaging with them as opposed to providing services to a passive patient (Cain 2013). The changing of the focus to wellness maintenance and preventive measures will require the existing medical education and training system to change its focus too in order to produce practitioners that fit into the new orientation.
Cain Jeff. (2013). It’s Time to Hold Our Medical Education System Accountable for Producing the Right Workforce. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/publications/news/news-now/opinion/20130409presmsg-gme.html
Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. (2010). Ensuring an Effective Physician Workforce for America: Recommendations for an Accountable Graduate Medical Education System. Retrieved from http://www.macyfoundation.org/
Sultz, H.A. &Young K.M. (2011). Health Care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery (7th Ed). New York: Jones and Bartlett.