Fall 2014 – A Medical Student Elective Course in Business and Finance: A Needs Analysis and Pilot

A Medical Student Elective Course in Business and Finance: A Needs Analysis and Pilot.

Author: Joseph B. Meleca1, Maria Tecos1, Abigail L. Wenzlick1, Rebecca Henry2, Patricia A. Brewer3.

Author Affiliations:

1College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, US

2Office of Medical Education, Research and Development, College of Human Medicine, Mighigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

3Office of Preclinical Curriculum, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Full Text Article PDF

Corresponding Author: Joseph B. Meleca; melecajo[at]msu.edu

Key Words: curriculum reform; medical business; medical finance; student-led; course; elective; module; student debt.

Abstract: Background:  As the knowledge needed by physicians expands past basic science and patient care, students are calling for their medical school education to do the same. At Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, students addressed this concern by developing a pilot elective, Medical Business and Finance (MBF). The goal of this student-led elective was to provide a basic understanding of personal finance, student debt handling, business management, and insurance reimbursement issues. Methods:  A preliminary needs assessment was conducted to discern if students wanted medical business and finance supplementation to the medical school curriculum.  Ninety percent of students reported interest in a business and finance elective. Once the course was instated, student satisfaction and knowledge-base in medical business and finance was analyzed through pre-elective, pre-session and post-elective survey. Results:  Results were analyzed on forty-eight students’ pre-survey and post-survey responses.  After the course, self-assessed student knowledge regarding finance and business nearly doubled.  The average pre-elective self-assessed knowledge of finance was 3.02 on a ten-point scale and knowledge of business was 2.61. This was compared to an average post-elective self-assessed knowledge of 5.75 and 5.44, respectively. Satisfaction in MSU CHM business and finance resources also slightly increased at the completion of the course.  Nearly 85% of students felt they benefited from participating in the elective.  Similarly, 85% felt that incoming students would also benefit from taking the course. Almost 30% of students believed the material covered in the MBF Elective should be in the required medical school curriculum. Conclusion:  A student led elective can be an effective way to introduce students to an array of topics related to medical business and finance. Students felt that their knowledge of these topics increased and they valued the addition of medical business and finance education to their curriculum. A student-led elective is one potential way for others to successfully incorporate these topics into medical school curricula across the country.

Published on date: September 31, 2014

Senior Editor: Jon Zande

Junior Editor: Ghadear Shukr

DOI: Pending

Citation: Meleca JB, Tecos M, Wenzlick AL, Henry R, Brewer PA. A Medical Student Elective Course in Business and Finance: A Needs Analysis and Pilot. Medical Student Research Journal. 2014;4(Fall):18-23.

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Jessica Wummel

Executive Editor
Jessica Wummel is a third year medical student at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. She received her B.S. in Human Biology with a specialization in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society also from Michigan State University in 2011 from the Lyman Briggs College. She is interested in pursuing a career in Med/Peds and would eventually like to be involved in academic medicine later in her career.