Purpose. To assess the state of managed care knowledge and attitudes and to evaluate the effects of a two-day course on participants' knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Method. In 1996, the University of California, Davis, Medical School invited all medical students, residents, faculty, and administrators to participate in one of two sessions of a two- day course on managed care. Participants in the first session were given both pre- and post-course questionnaires. Participants in the second session were given only post-course questionnaires. The questionnaires measured objective knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Participants (other than administrators) who completed the questionnaires also received a follow-up questionnaire six months after the seminar. Results. The two sessions were attended by 818 UC Davis medical students, residents, faculty, and administrators: after excluding 33 non-physician administrators, 428 completed survey packets (55%) were available for full analysis. Before the course, participants in the first session correctly answered on average only 46% of 32 questions about managed care knowledge. Course attendance was associated with significant gains in knowledge (to 67% correct, p < .001) and a marked increase in appreciation for the cost-control effectiveness of managed care (from 3.35 to 3.98 on a five-point scale, p < .001). Knowledge gains were greatest among medical students; changes in attitudes and behavioral intentions were least among residents. Among respondents to a follow-up survey, the changes were partially sustained six months later. Conclusion. Within this academic medical center baseline levels of managed care knowledge were low among faculty as well as among trainees, and attitudes reflected a blend of negativism and wishful thinking. An intensive two-day educational program effectively increased knowledge and changed selected attitudes among critical academic constituencies. Other academic medical centers may wish to consider presenting similar programs in order to orient their faculties and trainees to the economic realities of the foreseeable future.
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