Special report in Stanford Medicine analyzes health-care-crisis time bomb

Stanford Medicine, the winter 2005 issue

Patriotic speechmakers tend to laud the U.S. health-care system as the world's best. But Dean Philip Pizzo, MD, doesn't mince words in calling into question such assessments. "Bogus" is how he describes those claims in his remarks in the latest Stanford Medicine magazine.

The Winter 2005 issue of the medical school's magazine, which came out this week, takes off from that point to present a special report on America's struggle for health-care reform, alerting readers to the system's severe shortcomings. The magazine explains how the reliance on employment-based health coverage has led to the current crisis and examines alternatives to this approach. It reports that solutions to this monster of a problem depend on the public more actively demanding change—and indeed the issue offers evidence that a popular uprising over health care is brewing.

Among the contents in the special report are:

  • A walk through the history of U.S. health-care reform.
  • Five Stanford health-care policy experts' prescriptions to heal the health-care system
  • A Q & A with President Bush's principal pollster, revealing how Americans' frustration with health care is reaching a tipping point.
  • A Q & A with Medicare chief Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, a Stanford faculty member, on modernizing Medicare.
  • A physician's insider account of the system's assault on the doctor/patient relationship
  • Analysis of why Americans settle for a broken health-care system.
  • Resources for those interested in pushing health-care reform.

In addition to the special report on health-care reform the issue offers medical center news and research updates. These include:

  • An article on two astonishing heart surgeries at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.
  • An in-depth feature on a newly discovered biological phenomenon, dubbed RNAi, that's raising a hubbub among researchers. It turns out RNA does much more than serve as DNA's sidekick.
  • An interview with actor Anna Deveare Smith, famed for her one-woman shows portraying characters lifted from real life. (She also plays Nancy McNally on NBC's "West Wing.") Smith tells how she prepped for her show on diversity performed at last month's strategic planning retreat.

Look for the magazines in departmental offices and online at http://mednews.stanford.edu.

To obtain copies, please send e-mail to sharknes@stanford.edu.