Health is important to everyone. For most people, that means that understanding the healthcare system is important. As a patient or a caregiver for a loved one, your understanding of the system can mean everything from getting the right help, to economic stress in paying medical bills, to medical misadventures and even worse. And if you’re a healthcare professional (or are in training or want to be a healthcare professional someday), understanding the system is a critical – but often under-developed – part of optimizing the help you can provide your community.
Despite this importance, confident understanding of the US healthcare system is alarmingly rare. This course is designed to change that – by helping students understand the core structure and accomplishments of the system, the recurring shortcomings, and attempted remedies through policy reform. Rather than emphasizing complexity (a focus of many other courses about healthcare policy), the lessons in this course will highlight central themes that learners can take away from the course and apply to their own experiences – and other coursework – with confidence. Moreover, students who seek more advanced content will have ample opportunity to tailor their learning accordingly.
In addition, through a unique, coursewide group exercise that will serve as a keystone of this course, all learners will have the opportunity to learn how they can improve the US healthcare system. Whether as individuals, in groups, or as future architects of system reform, students in this course will enjoy a premier opportunity to understand the US healthcare system – and their options for addressing problems in the system – as they never have before.
This course was co-developed by the course director, Matthew Davis, MD, MAPP, and course producer, Michael Rubyan, MPH. Davis is a senior faculty member and longtime teacher regarding health policy at the University of Michigan Medical School, School of Public Policy, and School of Public Health. Rubyan is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.