Medical Student Views of Healthcare Reform in the United States, 2009

Ariel A. Benson, Nathaniel Mendelsohn, Maria Gervits, Folashade Adeshuko, Carlo S. Garcia, Sylvia Smoller


To assess the opinions of Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Einstein) medical students about U.S. healthcare reform
in the context of the 2008 U.S. presidential election through the use of an online survey. The study additionally
evaluates the influences on students’ healthcare opinions and whether there is sufficient instruction given to medical
students about healthcare systems.
During January and February 2009, first-year and second-year (classes of 2011 and 2012) Einstein medical students
(n=362) were surveyed about U.S. healthcare using a web-based electronic survey. The survey included questions
about students’ healthcare views and influences, political views, and education related to healthcare systems.
With a response rate of 56%, the survey showed that, among Einstein students, the most popular reform to the U.S.
healthcare system would be a multipayer system (41%) in which all U.S. citizens would have access to healthcare paid
for by the U.S. government, but could also choose to obtain private insurance. More than 86% of the respondents
felt that they had not received adequate education in medical school about the U.S. healthcare system. Seventy-four
percent of respondents supported Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
Einstein students overwhelmingly recognize the need for reform in the U.S. healthcare system, and students are confident
that, under Barack Obama’s leadership, the number of uninsured American citizens will decrease in the next
four years. Survey findings also reveal the need for improved medical student education about the U.S. healthcare


Healthcare; reform; multipayer system

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