BACKGROUND:: Rising healthcare costs, decreasing reimbursement rates, and changes in American healthcare are forcing physicians to become increasingly business-minded. Both academic and private plastic surgeons can benefit from being educated in business principles. We conducted a systematic review to identify existing business curricula and integrated a business principles curriculum into residency training. METHODS:: We anonymously surveyed our department regarding perceived importance of business principles and performed a systematic literature review from 1993-2013 using PubMed and Embase to identify residency training programs that had designed/implemented business curricula. Subsequently, we implemented a formal, quarterly business curriculum. RESULTS:: Thirty-two (88.9%) of 36 physicians (76.6% response rate) stated business principles are either “pretty...” or “very important” to being a doctor. Only 36% of faculty and 41% of trainees had previous business instruction. We identified 434 articles in the systematic review: 29 documented formal business curricula. Twelve topics were addressed with practice management/administration (n=22) and systems-based practice (n=6) being the most common. Four articles were from surgical specialties: otolaryngology (n=1), general surgery (n=2), and combined general surgery/plastic surgery (n=1). Teaching formats included lectures and self-directed learning modules; outcomes and participant satisfaction were inconsistently reported. From August 2013-June 2015, we held eight business principles sessions. Post-session surveys demonstrated moderately-to-extremely satisfied responses in ≥75% of resident/fellow respondents (n=13, response rate=48.1%) and faculty (n=9, response rate=45.0%). DISCUSSION:: Business principles can be integrated into residency training programs. Having speakers familiar with the physician audience and a session coordinator is vital to program success.
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