Public Release: 

Jefferson's chair of medicine authors new book on the challenges facing academic medical centers

As health care reform approaches many questions remain unanswered

Thomas Jefferson University

(PHILADELPHIA) -Arthur Feldman, M.D., Ph.D, Magee Professor and Chairman, Department of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College, has written a new book, Pursuing Excellence In Healthcare: Preserving America's Academic Medical Centers, one of the first textbooks since the works of Abraham Flexnor in 1910 to take a comprehensive look at the issues facing academic medicine. Dr. Feldman reviews the economic, demographic and cultural aspects which threaten healthcare in general and academic medical centers (AMCs) in particular, but also provides a framework for change that can enhance the ability of AMCs to survive. This framework is based on careful evaluation of the most successful AMCs but also on lessons that can be learned from business and industry. The book has received praise and endorsements from leading experts in the field of academic medicine and nationally prominent health educators including members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

"If academic medical centers are to fulfill their responsibilities to society then they will need to restructure because the current model is simply flawed," said Feldman.

"As with anything of this magnitude these changes are not going to be easy, but to continually ignore them puts the future of medical education, research and patient care at risk."

Pursuing Excellence in Healthcare offers a systematic plan towards reform including:

  • A look at the four interconnected spheres of action that support the core goal of the AMC - excellence in patient care (more)
  • The challenges within each sphere - structure, education, research and business - and how attention to each sphere is necessary but not sufficient to preserve the integrity and excellence of AMCs
  • Unique structures at selected AMCs that have allowed them to succeed despite challenging times including re-organization and globalization

"I hope that this book can serve as a platform for discussions amongst physicians, students, policymakers, analysts, regulators and those in the financial sector as it will take a collaborative effort of the many stakeholders in academic medicine to ensure survival," said Feldman. "Hopefully the new perspective and new philosophy offered in the book will spur all the agents involved towards reform and continue making our AMCs to be the focal point for the future of American medicine."

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About the Author:

Arthur D Feldman, M.D., PhD., is the Magee Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College. He is a past President of the Heart Failure Society of America and of the Association of Professors of Cardiology. He has served on numerous editorial boards and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical and Translational Science. He has received numerous honors including election to Alpha Omega Alpha, the Association of University Cardiologists and the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Feldman has chaired numerous multi-center clinical trials and his research in the molecular biology of heart failure has been funded since 1986 by the NIH. He has published over 210 peer-reviewed articles, 60 chapters, and two edited textbooks. Dr. Feldman is the founder and a member of the Board of Directors of Cardiokine, Inc. He has a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Maryland. He earned his medical degree from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

The book is published by Productivity Press.

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