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Stanford University

Introduction to Healthcare

Stanford University via Coursera


Solving the problems and challenges within the U.S. healthcare system requires a deep understanding of how the system works. Successful solutions and strategies must take into account the realities of the current system.

This course explores the fundamentals of the U.S. healthcare system. It will introduce the principal institutions and participants in healthcare systems, explain what they do, and discuss the interactions between them. The course will cover physician practices, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and insurance and financing arrangements.

We will also discuss the challenges of healthcare cost management, quality of care, and access to care. While the course focuses on the U.S. healthcare system, we will also refer to healthcare systems in other developed countries.

The Stanford University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Visit the FAQs below for important information regarding 1) Date of original release and Termination or expiration date; 2) Accreditation and Credit Designation statements; 3) Disclosure of financial relationships for every person in control of activity content.


  • Overview of Health Care Systems and Key Challenges They Face
  • Physicians, Physician Practices, and Physician Payment
  • Hospitals, Other Provider Organizations, and Related Payment Systems
  • Intermediaries, Health Insurance Plans, and Health Care Financing
  • Health Care Products and Prescription Drugs, and Quality Measurement and Improvement
  • Ethics
    • Ethics in Healthcare System
  • Course Wrap Up
    • Course Summary and Final Assessment

Taught by

Laurence Baker and Mildred Cho


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 634 ratings

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