Many U.S. medical students question whether their curricula are keeping pace with rapid advances in healthcare, with only 17% of students surveyed by the American Medical Student Association saying they were "very satisfied" with their courses.
"Medical education has not evolved at the same pace as the healthcare delivery system," one respondent wrote. "We are being trained to practice in an environment that no longer exists."
Nearly 58% of students said they were not offered courses in bioterrorism or were not sure of their options in areas such as bioterrorism and disaster preparedness.
More than 35% said they were not required to study medical ethics, and about 47% said there were no courses or electives in the business of medicine. Nearly one-fourth said they were not receiving education on health disparities.
About 322 students responded to the online survey.
"Medical education should provide students with the information and skills they need to enter medicine as physicians worthy of the inherent public trust," Leana Wen, president of the about 60,000-member association, said in a news release. "It is a constant challenge for medical schools to teach the traditional medical curriculum, while also incorporating new, timely topics. However, it is absolutely necessary that medical schools recognize this challenge and strive to develop physicians who can effectively provide care in this modern healthcare environment."