Saturday, February 20, 2010

At the University of Minnesota:

Cost Effectiveness Is a Sometime Thing?

"We looked at the cost-benefit ratio and didn't think it was worth it," said Sharon Allen, a professor of family medicine and community health who is course director of "Physician and Patient," the class where students get their first chance to interview and examine patients.

Numbers From the Data Planet Data Base:

Possible sources for funding?

Deborah Powell $427,780

Associate Vice President for
New Models of Medical Education

Lindsey Henson $330,000

Vice Dean for Education

"will facilitate the implementation
of MedEd2010
, the medical school
initiative to transform medical education." (from U's website)

Roberta Sonnino $260,200

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

(This was previously a half-time position)

MaryJo Kreitzer $178,295

Director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing

(Dr. Kreitzer is a fan of homeopathy.)
So with very little effort, more than a million dollars in medical school administrator salary can be identified. There is more where this came from.

Since we don't have a full time Dean, we've got a full time Executive Vice Dean and a bunch of other deanlets. And the ex-dean has a job as VP for new models of medical education [sic] - whatever that is. This is the result of a coup that took place last year in the medical school and a re-organization that left Dean Powell without a job, but only temporarily.

This re-organization was touted as saving administrative dollars,
but that doesn't seem to have happened:

"The goal here is to first and foremost to consolidate and strengthen leadership in the medical school and to achieve cost savings." U Spokesperson Wolter
Show me the money!

Is the same cost-effectiveness criterion being applied to these positions as was used to decide to make the change to virtual, rather than real, pelvic exams?

In light of the numbers above, claiming that saving $150,000 is cost-effective is a joke. The reaction has been uniformly negative: from patients, from current and past U of M med students, and from docs and med students at other institutions. For once the U should admit that it made a mistake and do the right thing.

But weary negligence is apparently de rigueur at the U of M medical school...

See, for example:

Med2010 - the Pause That Refreshes
Med School Postpones Major Curricular Changes

Old Story - Still No Answers
Is the U Ever Going to Do Anything About Double Dippers?

Something is Rotten In the State of Minnesota

And a truly pitiful excuse for foot dragging by the now dean of the med school:

"We're not violating a legal statute"
(How about first do no harm?)

Apparently, at Minnesota:


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