I have the pleasure each year of interviewing some of the brighest individuals applying to our categorical and transitional medicine residency programs. So far, I have asked each of 9 interview candidates to answer this question at the end of their interview:
"What do the numbers 99233 or 99244 mean to you?"
Without exception, each of them sat dazed.
Then I asked them, "What's the difference between an ICD-9 code and a CPT code?"
"It has something to do with billing," most said but not one knew the difference between the two.
Is this acceptable? Is it responsible to leave our medical students so woefully unprepared to enter the big wide world of medicine as it exists today?
Each of the students got an "A" for their efforts and idealism, but the programs from which they came received an "F" in teaching the business of medicine.