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Influencing the future of public health


Going back to medical school
Howard Hiatt Physician
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After five years at the school, I had... I had told the president that I would take the deanship for a period of five years, and then leave to go back to a medical setting where my training and previous experience had been. And, after four-and-a-half years I told the president that I was going to resign. He... he was really quite adamant in not accepting my resignation, pointed out to me that I had recruited a group of people who were new to the school and often new to the fields in question, who would be cast... might be cast loose if I were no longer there. He mentioned Harvey Fineberg and Milt Weinstein and Howard Frazier, Don Berwick and others, and I relented and stayed on.

Two years later, however, the... the majority of the faculty did ask the president to replace me, and he declined to do so. At that point I made one major change. The Associate Dean, who had been a member of the Faculty of Public Health for several decades, and whom I had asked to stay on with me as the... as my associate, but had never really been wholly persuaded that what was underway was in the interests of the school, he stepped aside and I replaced him with Elkan Blout, a Professor of Chemistry from the Harvard Medical School who remained with me throughout the remainder of my tenure as Dean, and stayed on after I left. In 1984, 12 years after my arrival, seven years after I said I would leave, I did resign and I went back to the medical school.

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: Howard Frazier, Harvey Fineberg, Milton Weinstein, Don Berwick, Elkan Blout

Duration: 2 minutes, 42 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008