Today was lecture day for the rotation I’m currently on, and this morning the lecture was about financing healthcare and how insurance companies work. It was a very, very good talk, and it made me particularly aware of the face that I basically know nothing about insurance pay structures, why we have insurance, how things are regulated, etc etc. I mean, really, basically nothing. It’s sad really, especially since I’m planning to work within a field that is pretty tightly controlled by these things. I mean, my salary, how I have to practice, and the other nuts and bolts of my future stuff are all pretty dependent on things OTHER THAN MEDICINE. That seems a bit ridiculous to me, but I accept that it’s reality. While I’ve always been interested in knowing more about these topics, it’s just so hard to get caught up in news/politics/healthcare reform – if you haven’t been following it forever, then it’s like an entirely different language with it’s own histories and origin stories and rationales. The rules are different, and they are not collected neatly into one easy-to-read list. It’s incredibly daunting to think about beginning to tackle that whole other body of knowledge.
Anyway, I’ve contacted the prof who gave our lecture this morning for some recommended reading. I think another good place to start is The Health Care Handbook. I was first told about this book when I was interviewing for a residency spot at Wash U (it was written by two Wash U medical students). I didn’t get much of a chance to peruse it, but from the brief flip through, it looked pretty basic and accessible. Any other suggestions would be welcome (although action upon those suggestions depends purely on my momentum at that point in time).
Le sigh. This project doesn’t sound nearly as tempting as all the fiction currently sitting in my to-read pile.