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Dr Zirui Song: Original Research Can Help Unpack Healthcare System Complexities

Original research is necessary to overcome the challenges inherent in our healthcare system, in part by helping us fully understand various behavioral incentives, said Zirui Song, MD, PhD, resident at Massachusetts General Hospital.


Original research is necessary to overcome the challenges inherent in our healthcare system, in part by helping us fully understand various behavioral incentives, said Zirui Song, MD, PhD, resident at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What is the importance of original research and the impact it can have on health policy?

As a student of research and a student of health policy, I certainly believe that there is a valuable role that original research plays for physicians, for patients, and for our policy makers. I believe the biggest motivation for this role is that not enough patients today receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place, and at the right value for both them and for society. I believe the biggest challenge is understanding the complexities of our healthcare system, especially the complexities in how physicians across 100 or so specialties and subspecialties deliver care together; now under not just a physical roof, but a contractual roof, more and more so.

I think that original research can help us as a healthcare system and as a society begin to overcome some of these challenges by unpacking some of the relationships between providers, by unpacking the incentives that affect patient behavior and that affect physician behavior, and by helping us overcome what is, in often cases, the black box of how organizations take incentives at the top level and use them to shape behavior of providers on the front lines. 

 
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