Entering first-year medical students' attitudes toward managed care

Michael S Wilkes, S. A. Skootsky, S. Slavin, C. S. Hodgson, L. Wilkerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose. To study the attitudes of entering first-year medical students toward reform of the U.S. health care system. Method. All 631 first-year medical students at the five medical schools in the University of California System were asked during orientation (late summer of 1992) to complete a self-administered questionnaire regarding their attitudes toward and knowledge about health care reform. Statistical methods used were chi-square tests and factor analyses. Results. Of the 631 students, 594 (94%) responded. Of the respondents, 392 (66%) felt that there should be a national health insurance plan, and 428 (72%) felt that practicing physicians had a major responsibility to help reduce health care costs. When asked about specific changes intended to control health care costs, the students identified reform of the medical malpractice system (374, 63%) and increased spending on preventive health (356, 60%) as the most likely to be effective. The students generally held negative attitudes toward managed care organizations; only 59 (10%) indicated they would choose to receive care in health maintenance organizations. Conclusion. The students held strong opinions about access to care, managed care organizations, and strategies intended to reduce health care spending. Medical educators not only need to find creative methods of introducing these content areas into medical school curricula but should also anticipate the need for strategies to deal with negative attitudes held by students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-309
Number of pages3
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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