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Accepted by Harvard to major in English


Why I became a doctor
Howard Hiatt Physician
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My father's goal to educate his children, certainly, was met. I, the oldest of three children, went to Harvard College and to Harvard Medical School. My brother graduated from Harvard College and my sister from Vassar College. My mother, when I was 12 years old, was hospitalised at a Harvard teaching hospital, had surgery and thereafter almost died from hemorrhage. I remember being so grateful to the surgeon who had taken care of her and who had seen her through the surgery and then her recovery, that I decided that this was a... a model for me, and from that time forward I thought of going to medical school. Well, at Harvard Medical School I had access to the records of the hospital where she had been so ill and discovered that she had had surgery for a problem that didn't require surgery and had haemorrhaged because she had a bleeding diathesis that hadn't been identified. I can't associated that story with my interest in my career in evaluating the effectiveness of medical procedures, but it is on my mind some of the time.

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: Harvard Medical School

Duration: 2 minutes, 2 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008