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The Best Health Care in the World?

by SKeira Jul 16, 2015
When Sep 19, 2005
from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library
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Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean, Penn State College of Medicine, and Chief Executive Officer, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Darrell G. Kirch is Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine for the Pennsylvania State University. In this role, he also serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Dr. Kirch has served in leadership positions for a number of professional organizations, including as Chair of the American Medical Association Section on Medical Schools and on the Administrative Board for the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). From 2003 to 2004 he was Chair of the Council of Deans, and he continues to serve on the AAMC Executive Council. Currently, Dr. Kirch is Co-chair of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the body overseeing medical school accreditation in the United States. He has had an active career as a clinician and researcher interested in the biological basis of and treatments for severe neuropsychiatric disorders.

The Best Health Care in the World?

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The health care system in the United States often is touted as being the best of any nation, with proponents pointing toward facts ranging from leadership in health sciences research to the most technologically advanced facilities. Critics point to a number of countervailing issues. These include population health status markers below the average of other industrialized nations, large numbers of individuals without health insurance, rising costs that are viewed as unsustainable, and an increasing reliance on health professionals trained in other nations.

The lecture will focus on this debate, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the current health system in the United States. Most importantly, it will focus on steps that might be taken to close the gaps in health care in this nation. These issues will be examined from the perspectives of those who use health care (i.e., all of us as patients), those who provide health care, and those who make the policy driving the system.