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HL20: Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM—Collaboration Critical to Discovering Best Practices

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, December 2, 2013

After graduating from Yale College, Krumholz took advantage of traveling fellowships in 1981, studying models of rural healthcare delivery in the United Kingdom, India, and China. The simple ways healthcare could shift in its delivery and dramatically impact a population influenced him greatly at this early point in his career.

"It sensitized me to think about what results are being achieved by all different types of healthcare systems and the variety of experiences individual patients can have with that system," says Krumholz. "In medical school, we're trained that our job ends when someone goes out the door in a hospital. We are told our job is to reduce the census and help people move out of the hospital, but patients think in terms of episodes and they aren't done with that episode when they go home."

After medical school at Harvard University in 1985, Krumholz served as an internal medicine resident at the University of California San Francisco and later decided to specialize in cardiology in part because he felt the field offered a breadth of opportunities; but the field was also attracting a lot of physicians and there "was a lot of action." He became more and more excited about combining science, data-based research, and policy studies to do work that would help clinical decision making not only at the bedside, but that also would help guide larger policy questions to reshape the industry.

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