Perspective: Prospective health care and the role of academic medicine: lead, follow, or get out of the way

Acad Med. 2008 Aug;83(8):707-14. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31817ec800.


The authors contend that the crisis facing the U.S. health care system is in large part a consequence of that system's disease-oriented, reactive, and sporadic approach to care, and they suggest that a prospective approach to health care, which emphasizes personalized medicine and strategic health planning, would be a more rational way to prevent disease and maximize health. During recent years, personalized, predictive, preventive, and participatory medicine--that is, prospective care--has been receiving increasing attention as a solution to the U.S. health care crisis. Advocacy has been mainly from industry, government, large employers, and private insurers. However, academic medicine, as a whole, has not played a leading role in this movement. The authors believe that academic medicine has the opportunity and responsibility to play a far greater role in the conception and development of better models to deliver health care. In doing so, it could lead the transformation of today's dysfunctional system of medical care to that of a prospective approach that emphasizes personalization, prediction, prevention, and patient participation. Absent contributing to improving how care is delivered, academic medicine's leadership in our nation's health will be bypassed.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Education, Medical*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genomics
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Preventive Health Services*
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States