Welcome! I am Taylor J. Christensen, M.D., and this blog is my brain on health policy.
Let me tell you how I discovered this topic.
Way back as a pre-med, I read Atul Gawande’s book, Complications, which opened my eyes to the fact that our current healthcare system is an incredible and complex problem needing to be solved. Ever since then, I can’t stop thinking about how to solve it. By now, I’ve lost count of the number of scholarly publications, books, lectures, and podcasts I’ve consumed on the topic. This interest is what motivated me to get a degree in business strategy, plus part of a health policy PhD (long story). It’s why I spent a year designing payment reforms for the state of Utah. And it’s why I continue to research and think and write about this topic, so many years after reading Complications.
I included “clear thinking” in the title of this blog because of the graduation speech a banking leader gave at my undergrad commencement ceremony. He foresaw the financial collapse of 2008 and led his bank through it without losing solvency. He said everyone around him was going along and not questioning because they trusted that the masses couldn’t possibly all be wrong. But the masses are wrong sometimes, and the world needs clear thinkers who can think for themselves and see things the way they truly are. I am striving to do that for healthcare.
My ultimate goals of this blog are (1) to force myself to clarify my ideas by putting them into writing, (2) to help others understand our complex healthcare system well enough that it becomes simple, and (3) to influence policy makers to support constructive policies.
Because I work full time as a physician and am also busy raising 5 daughters, this is a weekly blog. I release posts on Tuesdays because research shows it’s the lowest-morale day for workers, so people need something to look forward to!
I’m open for anyone to contact me any time with questions, opportunities for collaboration, points of disagreement, or whatever (except for advertising inquiries, which I ignore): firstname.lastname@example.org.