In this volume, Haynes presents essays and papers that reflect Stead’s impact on various systems in American medicine such as training programs, academic health centers, national organizations, and the formation of a new profession: the physician’s assistant. These essays show the extraordinary vision he has had over the years to anticipate the future.
The chapters in the first section “Medical Education for the Future,” reflect Stead’s vision of medical students and housestaff training and review his pioneering work in changing the Duke curriculum. In the section “Academic Medical Centers,” Stead gives out his secrets for administering departments and medical centers — secrets that are as relevant today as they were in years past. These sections are a “must read” for contemporary chairs of medicine and their deans. In addition, he anticipated the crisis today in nursing and other health provider shortages and proposed a series of innovative ways to bring healthcare teams together.
In the section on computerized medical databases, Stead shows his vision in by speaking in the 1970s of the importance of computers in medicine today. Thirty years ago Stead started the Duke cardiovascular database that now has clinical data on over 250,000 patients. Papers written out of the database have changed the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced today in the U.S.
In the section on the medical workforce, Stead’s classic papers on his establishment of the physician-assistant profession are reprinted, and chronicle the development of his greatest innovation and most successful program. Finally, in the section on healthcare and the nation, Stead addresses many of the unsolved social problems that we still face, such as poverty and a lack of healthcare for all citizens in the U.S., and proposes several solutions to these social ills.