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Dermatology Online Journal

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Health policy literacy among U.S. dermatology residents: characterizing past experiences and future goals


Background: Health policy knowledge is critical in today's healthcare environment; efforts to understand dermatology residents' health policy literacy and education on policy reforms pertaining to dermatology practice are limited. Methods: A 25-question electronic survey was administered to current U.S. dermatology residents in ACGME-accredited residencies to assess health policy education/experiences, career goals, and familiarity with current issues in health policy and dermatology. Results: There were 46 respondents of equal gender and training stage distribution. Of these, 67% and 30% reported health policy instruction in medical school and residency, respectively; 17% reported no prior instruction. Additionally, 50% and 31% intended to pursue academic medicine and private practice, respectively. Although most believed dermatology careers to be compatible with non-clinical endeavors (organized medicine leadership, policy reform, political/legislative advocacy, elected office), few intended to pursue such endeavors. Fewer than 50% of respondents reported familiarity with health legislation, reimbursement models, and the American Academy of Dermatology Association's 2018 advocacy priorities. Conclusions: Although some dermatology residents have prior health policy education and/or receive training in residency, there remain gaps in their knowledge and preparation to face current healthcare issues. Medical schools and residencies should address such gaps and provide health policy opportunities to ensure trainees' future success.

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