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An American in Paris


How I cost Stanford University $150
Howard Hiatt Physician
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In 1959, I had the first offer of a chairmanship of a department of medicine. Henry Kaplan, who had been my neighbour at the lab in... at the NIH, invited me to come to San Francisco... to Stanford, and he and a committee that included Josh Lederberg and Arthur Kornberg were looking for a chairman of the department of medicine. He invited me to come out and... and talk with them about it. This was pretty heady stuff for... for me at that stage and I, when I, in addition to which I got a, from him, a first class ticket on an aeroplane from Boston to San Francisco. I'd never travelled first class. In fact, when I got off the plane, Henry was there at the airport to meet me, said, 'How many drinks did you have?' I said, 'I had one'. He said, 'That drink cost Stanford $150', he said.

We went from there to the top of the Mark Hopkins where we began to talk about leadership of the department of medicine at Stanford and I said that it was flattering, but I was planning to go to - it was '59 - I was planning to go to Paris the next year, if they could wait I would consider it seriously then. He said, 'We can't wait, we're just really in a state where we need to find somebody now'. But, that was my first... that was the first time I really thought about the possibility of chairing a department of medicine.

Born in 1925, American Howard Hiatt set up one of the first medical oncology research and training units in the US and has headed up some of America's most prestigious medical institutions. Hiatt attended Harvard College and received his MD from the Harvard Medical School in 1948. He was a member of the team at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, that first identified and described mRNA, and he was among the first to demonstrate mRNA in mammalian cells. From 1991 to 1997, he was Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he began and directs the Academy's Initiatives For Children program. He is also committed to helping disadvantaged people access decent health care.

Listeners: Milton C. Weinstein

Milton C. Weinstein, Ph.D., is the Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. At the Harvard School of Public Health he is Academic Director of the Program in Health Decision Science, and Director of the Program on Economic Evaluation of Medical Technology . He is best known for his research on cost-effectiveness of medical practices and for developing methods of economic evaluation and decision analysis in health care. He is a co-developer of the CEPAC (Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications) computer simulation model, and has conducted studies on prevention and treatment of HIV infections. He is the co-developer of the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model, which has been used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of cardiovascular prevention and treatment. He is an author of four books: Decision Making in Health and Medicine: Integrating Evidence and Values; Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine,the report of the Panel of Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine; Clinical Decision Analysis; and Hypertension: A Policy Perspective.He has also published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed medical, public health, and economics journals. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Award for Career Achievement from the Society for Medical Decision Making. Dr. Weinstein received his A.B. and A.M. in Applied Mathematics (1970), his M.P.P. (1972), and his Ph.D. in Public Policy (1973) from Harvard University.

Tags: Stanford, Harry Kaplan

Duration: 1 minute, 57 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008