An MBA is a popular degree for people who want to run businesses, but for pediatric cardiologist Brett Anderson, MD, MBA, MS, assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the degree helps her focus on improving health quality and outcomes for underserved patients.
"Studies have shown over and over again that inequities in health care exist, and that disadvantaged and minority patients fare worse compared to wealthier patients," says Anderson. "The assumption has been that the disparities are tied to differences in health habits or access to health care among underserved patients."
But when a recent study led by Anderson uncovered disparities in outcomes among children who had heart surgery at premier institutions, she was shocked.
All babies and children in our study who had heart surgery had access to highly specialized cardiac care, no matter where they were from or how complex their condition, so we did not expect to see the large disparities we found. The fact that our study found that payer, race, and neighborhood-level income were all significant predictors of the outcomes we measured speaks to the important, independent effects of all three factors, and really begs the question, why?" Brett Anderson, pediatric cardiologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Related Stories
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