Story-Based Health Policy: An Interview with Fitzhugh Mullan, MD

Jon Stewart, Editor

Fall 2007 - Volume 11 Number 4

Editor Introduction

Pediatrician, writer, editor, and health policy expert Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, is perhaps best known as the founding editor of (and contributor to) the popular column "Narrative Matters" in the influential health policy journal Health Affairs. For many readers of the journal, the column--which features first-person narratives, or stories, that illuminate often-complex health policy issues--is the first thing to turn to when cracking open a new edition.

When not writing or editing, Dr Mullan is the Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He is also a member of the medical staff at the Upper Cardozo Community Health Center in Washington, DC.

Following graduation from Harvard University and the University of Chicago Medical School (1968) and an internship at the Jacobi and Lincoln Hospitals in the Bronx, New York, Dr Mullan began a distinguished medical, academic, and administrative career. It has included serving as Director of the National Health Service Corps in Washington, DC; Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute of Medicine; senior medical officer at the National Institutes of Health; Director of the Bureau of Health Professions; and, in 1991, promotion to the rank of Assistant Surgeon General (Rear Admiral). In 1996, he retired from the Public Health Service and joined the staff of Health Affairs, where he continues to edit the "Narrative Matters" section.

In addition to his journal contributions, Dr Mullan is the author of White Coat Clenched Fist: The Political Education of an American Physician (Macmillan, 1977); Vital Signs: A Young Doctor’s Struggle with Cancer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983), Plagues and Politics: The Story of the United States Public Health Service (Basic Books, 1989), Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care (University of California Press/Milbank Fund, 2002). He is the senior editor of Healers Abroad: Americans Responding to Human Resource Crisis in the HIV/AIDS (National Academy Press, 2005).


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