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Philadelphia (PA). On Monday, the ABIM presented the first group Diplomats in Administration and Management Medicine. The DAMMed, for short, graduated a residency started “out of the desire to create physician led health care systems,” in the words of Douglas Pennipintcher, who spearheaded the development.

“Traditionally we would have expected physicians with years of clinical experience go into admin,” said Pennipintcher. “This was a disadvantage. These individuals often have a sense of obligation to the patient and residual empathy. This has proven to be a problem in health care management.”

Initially the program used physicians that have dropped out of clinical practice due to burn out, but that proved difficult . “For some reason these physicians have a very negative attitude towards hospital administrators,” said Cody Biller, the programs co-chair. “We had the insight of recruiting straight out of medical school. That way physicians are untainted by patient contact that could dissuade them from their task of maximizing profits. “

The program is 2 years in length. It consist of a year long computer resilience acquisition program (CRAP), followed by 3 month rotations in coding, billing and scheduling. There is a 3 month elective as all. “We encourage trainees to seek experience outside medicine. Our collaboration with the Asian textile industry has proven very helpful in providing a skill set needed to run a hospital, “ said Biller.

The second class of DAMMed are set to graduate soon. So far, there is just one residency, run out of the headquarters of Aetna in Hartford, CT. “We decided to have a chief resident year for the highest achieving physician, called the Senior Administrative Track Award Newcomer (SATAN). It comes with a $1M compensation and a company car. Not bad for a starting salary!” added Pennipintcher.