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My wife: the most important person in my life


My early medical career
Howard Hiatt Physician
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At Harvard Medical School, I recall being interviewed shortly before commencement by the then Dean who, in those days, was able to interview all of the graduating class, and even then remember telling him that I thought I would return to Worcester to practice medicine. So, my decisions to go other than into medical practice came considerably later than that. I took a residency in medicine at Beth Israel hospital in Boston, was very taken with the Chairman of the Department there, a cardiologist named Hermann Blumgart, was really a wonderfully compassionate and... physician and cardiologist and a man of... who did some very important work in... in the early days of heart... heart disease research. I went from Beth Israel Hospital to a Fellowship in endocrinology at Cornell New York... Cornell Medical School, New York Hospital and there became interested in... in bone disease and in the effects of parathyroid hormone on bone disease.

It was while I was there that the Korean War broke out. Since I had not... I'd left medical school... I'd graduated from medical school at a time when the need for physicians was over, I now was a candidate for... for military service, and I joined the Public Health Service at the invitation of a person who was in charge of the National Institutes of Health. He had known the head of the endocrinology program at New York Hospital where I was working and indicated that if I joined the Public Health Service, I would be then welcomed at the National Institutes of Health to carry on work similar to what I had been doing at New York Hospital.

The clinical centre at the NIH, where the research on patients goes on, was being built and during the time that, before its completion I was permitted to stay at New York Hospital. I was sent for a year to Elgin, Illinois where there was a public health research project going on at the Elgin State Hospital. It was a distressing experience. The study was of vitamin deficiency in patients hospitalized at this hospital, and because these patients were not consulted they were subjected to vitamin-deficient diets, and shortly after I arrived I expressed concern about that and was... I asked to be relieved of that, of that duty and shortly afterwards, was.

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, Beth Israel Medical Center, National Istitutes of Health

Duration: 4 minutes, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008