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Internet Resources and Books

Essential Health Policy Web Sites and Books

This page links to local, regional, and national websites devoted to public health policy issues.


Federal Government

State/Local Government Resources

International Resources

Foundations

Advocacy, Education, and Research Organizations

Associations

Recommended Reading

General Interest

Let Me Heal , by Kenneth M. Ludmerer
Hardcover: 456 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2014)

In  Let Me Heal, prize-winning author Kenneth M. Ludmerer provides the first-ever account of the residency system for training doctors in the United States. He traces its development from its nineteenth-century roots through its present-day struggles to cope with new, bureaucratic work-hour regulations for house officers and, more important, to preserve excellence in medical training amid a highly commercialized health care system. ( Amazon accessed 7/28/15 )

"The complete fascinating story of the graduate education of US physicians, its 19th century origins, its 20th century glories, and now its threatened decline in the hands of a commercialized hospital industry and a for-profit health system. A compelling read that all who would understand our health care problems will enjoy, and a masterful study sure to become the definitive reference in its field. Another notable contribution by Ludmerer to the history of medical education and its relation to contemporary society."  

Arnold S. Relman, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine and of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and former Editor-in-Chief, The New England Journal of Medicine  (Amazon Review accessed 7/28/15)

Other books by Kenneth Ludmerer:

  • Learning to Heal: The Development of American Medical Education – January 1, 1996
  • Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care – January 27, 2005

Advance Praise for  The Digital Doctor  (April, 2015)

" The Digital Doctor  is the eye-opening, well-told, and frustrating story of how computerization is pulling medicine apart with only a vague promise of putting it back together again. I kept muttering, ‘Exactly!’ while reading it, and that is a measure of Wachter’s accomplishment in telling the tale. This is the real story of what it’s like to practice medicine in the midst of a painful, historic, and often dangerous transition."
Atul Gawande, author of  Being Mortal  and  The Checklist Manifesto

"One of the best books I've ever read. Wachter’s warm humor and deep insights kept me turning the pages without interruption. To make our healthcare system work, we need new models of care and new ways of managing our technology.  The Digital Doctor  brings us much closer to making this happen, which is why I finished the book far more optimistic than I was when I began it. It is a must-read for everyone—patients, clinicians, technology designers, and policymakers."
Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

The Patient Will See You Now, by Eric Topol, MD (2015)

“[Topol] does a terrific job of laying out the immense potential of smartphones and iMedicine technologies to democratize medicine like never before.... Topol’s writing style makes it very accessible for the lay person without any ‘dumbing down’ that would be a turnoff to health professionals. This is a must read for anyone that cares about healthcare.... I can’t think of a book that does a better job of projecting how the future of medicine will unfold and the critical role individuals will play in their own health (beyond the obvious).” — Dave Chase, Forbes.com

America's Bitter Pill:  Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix our Nations Broken Health Care System, by Steven Brill   
NYT Book Review review 

“A superb guide to the maze of issues in American health care and health care reform . . . America’s Bitter Pill is an energetic, picaresque, narrative explanation of much of what has happened in the last seven years of health policy. It is full of insights, contradictions, apologias, flashes of anger, tidbits of history, extended stories of awe, compassion, some glibness and moments of brilliance. Above all, it includes fascinating reporting on how crucial decisions were made involving the drafting and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. . . . It reminded me of a Bruegel painting. . . . [Steven Brill] has pulled off something extraordinary—a thriller about market structure, government organization and billing practices.” — The New York Times Book Review

Understanding Health Policy: A Clinical Approach , by Thomas Bodenheimer and Kevin Grumbach (Sixth edition - 2012)

Remedy and Reaction:  The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care Reform , by Paul Starr (2011)

Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care: The Inside Story of a Century-Long Battle , by Stuart Altman and David Shactman with a forward by former Senator John Kerry (2011)

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care , by TR Reid (2009)

The Heart of Power:  Health and Politics In the Oval Office , by James Morone (2009)

Sick:  The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis - and the People Who Pay the Price , by Jonathan Cohn (2007)

The Social Transformation of American Medicine , by Paul Starr (1982)

Policy Analysis

Health Policy Analysis Framework 
John Seavey, MPH, PhD
Semra Aytur, PhD, MPH
Robert Mc Grath, PhD 
Pub. Date: 5/2014 234 pp., Softcover $65.00
ISBN-13: 9780826119230

This is the only resource to provide a step-by-step framework and expert guidance for preparing a health policy analysis final paper or a capstone project for courses in health policy, public health, and health policy analysis. Building on a blend of theory and practical considerations for creating a successful policy analysis, the text guides students through the process of building an analysis that encompasses value orientations, policy background, issue statement, normative and stakeholder analysis, criteria for success, systematic review of policy options, recommendation, and strategy for adoption.

To exemplify the process of creating a health policy analysis paper, the text traces the development of a policy on childhood obesity, the framework of which is directly applicable to a broad spectrum of policy analysis projects. The book is written by authors who are connected nationally to relevant groups (e.g., AUPHA, APHA, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and environmental health policy groups), and have extensive networks in practice and academia where they first noted, and then fulfilled, a pressing need for a guide to preparing policy analysis final papers.

Key features:

  • Presents challenges of policy analysis that blends theory and practical considerations
  • Provides a step by step framework for constructing a health policy analysis
  • Establishes requisite content areas that need to be covered in health policy
  • Allows students/instructors to follow a template or customize their own course assignment
  • Provides real-world examples based on current research and practice
  • Offers viable solutions to questions and issues students struggle with while preparing their analysis

Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making , by Deborah Stone (third edition 2011)

"Policy making is a political struggle over values and ideas. By exposing the paradoxes that underlie even seemingly straightforward policy decisions, Policy Paradox shows students that politics cannot be cleansed from the process in favor of “rationality.” Author Deborah Stone has fully revised and updated this popular text, which now includes many paradoxes that have arisen since September 11. Examples throughout the book have been updated, and the prose has been streamlined to make a great read even better." (Amazon review accessed 7/28/15)

Thinking Fast and Slow, by  Daniel Kahneman
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (April 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0374533555
ISBN-13: 978-0374533557

“A tour de force. . . Kahneman’s book is a must read for anyone interested in either human behavior or investing. He clearly shows that while we like to think of ourselves as rational in our decision making, the truth is we are subject to many biases. At least being aware of them will give you a better chance of avoiding them, or at least making fewer of them.” — Larry Swedroe, CBS News

“Brilliant . . . It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of Daniel Kahneman’s contribution to the understanding of the way we think and choose. He stands among the giants, a weaver of the threads of Charles Darwin, Adam Smith and Sigmund Freud. Arguably the most important psychologist in history, Kahneman has reshaped cognitive psychology, the analysis of rationality and reason, the understanding of risk and the study of happiness and well-being . . . A magisterial work, stunning in its ambition, infused with knowledge, laced with wisdom, informed by modesty and deeply humane. If you can read only one book this year, read this one.” — Janice Gross Stein, The Globe and Mail 

Health Care and Culture

Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader , by Paul Farmer, M.D. (2010)

Nickel and Dimed:  On (Not) Getting by in America , by Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down , by Anne Fadiman  (1997)

American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare , by Jason DeParle (2004)

Health Care Quality

Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care Would Work Better For Everyone , by Phillip Longman (3rd Edition 2012)

Overdiagnosed:  Making People Sicker in the Quest for Health , by H. Gilbert Welch (2012)

How We Do Harm:  A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America , by Otis W. Brawley and Paul Goldberg (2012)

Overtreated:  Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer , by Shannon Brownlee (2007)

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right , by Atul Gawande (2011)

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance , by Atul Gawande (2008) 

Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science , by Atul Gawande (2003)

B eing Mortal:  Medicine and What Matters at the End , by Atul Gawande (2014)

Leadership

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, by Stephen M.R. Covey (2008)

"Stephen M.R. Covey shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients and, employees—is essential to a successful organization.

Trust, says Stephen M.R. Covey, is the very basis of the new global economy, and he shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees, and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any high–performance, successful organization.

For business leaders and public figures in any arena, The Speed of Trust offers an unprecedented and eminently practical look at exactly how trust functions in our every transaction and relationship—from the most personal to the broadest, most indirect interaction—and how to establish trust immediately so that you and your organization can forego the time–killing, bureaucratic check–and–balance processes so often deployed in lieu of actual trust." (Amazon review accessed 7/28/15)

Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge, by Warren G. Bennis and Burt Nanus (1997)  

"In this illuminating study of corporate America's most critical issue—leadership—world-renowned leadership guru Warren Bennis and his co-author Burt Nanus reveal the four key principles every manager should know: Attention Through Vision, Meaning Through Communication, Trust Through Positioning, and The Deployment of Self.

In this age of "process", with downsizing and restructuring affecting many workplaces, companies have fallen trap to lack of communication and distrust, and vision and leadership are needed more than ever before. The wisdom and insight in Leaders addresses this need. It is an indispensable source of guidance all readers will appreciate, whether they're running a small department or in charge of an entire corporation." (Amazon review accessed 5/12/15)

Leadership Without Easy Answers, by Ronald Heifetz (1998)

" Leadership Without Easy Answers  is a masterwork of great subtlety, and of punch and practicality. Leadership is not value-free, Mr. Heifetz writes... [The author puts] soul and values squarely back into a vital topic, leadership."
(Tom Peters  New York Times Book Review accessed on Amazon 5/12/15 )

Only the Paranoid Survive, by Andrew Grove (1999)

"Under Andy Grove's leadership, Intel has become the world's largest chip maker and one of the most admired companies in the world. In  Only the Paranoid Survive, Grove reveals his strategy of focusing on a new way of measuring the nightmare moment every leader dreads--when massive change occurs and a company must, virtually overnight, adapt or fall by the wayside.

Grove calls such a moment a Strategic Inflection Point, which can be set off by almost anything: mega-competition, a change in regulations, or a seemingly modest change in technology. When a Strategic Inflection Point hits, the ordinary rules of business go out the window. Yet, managed right, a Strategic Inflection Point can be an opportunity to win in the marketplace and emerge stronger than ever." (Amazon review accessed 5/5/15)

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In , by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury

Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations , by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury

Politics and Lobbying

Act of Congress:  How America's Essential Institution Works, and How it Doesn't , by Robert G. Kaiser  (2013)

The Influence Game: 50 Insider Tactics from the Washington D.C. Lobbying World that Will Get You to Yes , by Stephanie Vance (2012)

Lobbying and Advocacy: Winning Strategies, Resources, Recommendations, Ethics and Ongoing Compliance for Lobbyists and Washington Advocates: The Best of Everything Lobbying and Washington Advocacy , by Dianna Gelack (2008)

Guide to State Legislative Lobbying , by Robert L. Guyer (Third Edition 2007)

The Citizens Guide to Lobbying Congress , by Donald E. deKeiffer (2007)

So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government , by Robert G. Kaiser (2009)

The Lobbyists:  How Influence Peddlers Get their Way in Washington , by Jeffrey H. Birnbaum (1992)

Public Health Issues

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, by Sam Quinones (2015)

Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of American capitalism: The stories of young men in Mexico, independent of the drug cartels, in search of their own American Dream via the fast and enormous profits of trafficking cheap black-tar heroin to America's rural and suburban addicts; and that of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut, determined to corner the market on pain with its new and expensive miracle drug, Oxycontin; extremely addictive in its own right.

Quinones illuminates just how these two stories fit together as cause and effect: hooked on costly Oxycontin, American addicts were lured to much cheaper black tar heroin and its powerful and dangerous long-lasting high. 

Dreamland is a scathing and incendiary account of drug culture and addiction spreading to every part of the American landscape.  (Amazon review accessed 6/15/15)

Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss (2013)

Don't Eat This Book:  Fast Food and the Supersizing of America , by Morgan Spurlock (2004)

Fast Food Nation:  The Dark Side of the All-American Meal , by Eric Schlosser (2001)

Osteopathic Medicine

The DOs:  Osteopathic Medicine in America , by Norman Gevitz, Ph.D. (2004)