TMC Health Policy Institute organizes online ‘Star Course’
Every week between January and April, a different “star” of health policy takes center stage via the internet in a course organized by the TMC Health Policy Institute. One of the important goals of the Institute is to educate the next generation of health leaders. The course, “The U.S. Health Care System and Its Place in the World,” engages students from four universities—The University of Texas School of Public Health, the University of Virginia, Cornell University and Vanderbilt University—and eminent health policy experts in a one-hour question and answer session.
The Institute also has a goal to educate the public. Members of the public from throughout the United States are invited to watch and to listen. In the first week, there were 61 students from the four universities, and over 150 members of the public. Many of these stars are well known to students and policymakers, but in this format, in which the stars broadcast either from their home or personal office, those taking part get to see a relaxed side of the faculty; a ‘slice’ of an hour in a real conversation with anecdotes, serious topics and humor. All-in-all, this is a memorable experience for the viewers.
The stars and their topics include: Gerard Anderson, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, on why the U.S. is so expensive compared to other countries; Uwe Reinhardt, Ph.D., Princeton University, on what we can do to reduce waste; David Blumenthal, J.D., former national coordinator of health information technology, on what computerized records can and cannot do for health systems; Sara Rosenbaum, J.D., George Washington University, on Medicaid; Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., former administrator of Medicare and Medicare Services and former commissioner of the FDA, on new ways to organize doctors and hospitals; Sean Nicholson, Ph.D., Cornell University, on why it is so expensive to educate medical students and what we can do about it; and Tsung-Mei Cheng, Ph.D., Princeton University, on what we can learn from other countries. Carolyn Engelhard Ph.D., University of Virginia, will cover the Affordable Care Act: the Good, the Bad and Ugly, and I will speak on Access to Care: How Many Doctors Do We Really Need?
This course also serves another of our goals: to be the resource for health information and analysis in the state, similar to the U.S. Institute of Medicine. These stars give the most up-to-date information in their discussions—in some cases, just as the news outlets are getting the stories. This is exciting for all who are watching—and very instructive—to see how policy is made.
The Institute is planning a course with a similar format, but with adding a live audience, inviting the stars of the Texas Medical Center. We have so many stars, we could likely go for years without a repeat. What a great problem to have!
For the schedule of speakers and the link to participate, click here.