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Apr 04 2014

NYIT Expert to Lecture on Nation's Physician Shortage and Poverty

Old Westbury,  N.Y.  (April 4, 2014) – The third lecture in NYIT’s Provocative Perspectives on Health series on April 9 features Dr. Richard ‘Buz’ Cooper, an expert in the issue of the nation’s supply of physicians.

Cooper, who directs NYIT’s Center for the Future of the Healthcare Workforce, says any discussion about our nation’s need for physicians must be considered alongside a discussion of our entire health care system and of the greatest problem it faces: responding to the health care needs that are generated by our country’s high levels of poverty and income inequality. Cooper forthcoming book, Health Care Through the Lens of Poverty, is scheduled for publication later this year. Cooper was among several experts whose opinions were published in a special issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, last fall.

“The fundamental issue that health planners must recognize is that poverty and poor health lead to a demand for large amounts of health care, but despite that care, the health of the poor remains poor," says Cooper. "We hear again and again that the US spends more but gets less. Yes, we spend more, in large part because of the high burden of disease among the poor. And outcomes are poor, because health care that is provided later in life simply cannot reverse the ravages associated with poverty from childhood on.”

Cooper says that policy planners have misinterpreted the combination of spending and poor outcomes as waste and have layered regulations and penalties on physicians and hospital.

"But they have made the wrong diagnosis and are carrying out the wrong treatment, and it is making things worse," he added. "In the 1990s, planners concluded that this waste' resulted from having too many physicians, and Congress capped the number being trained. Now we have a shortage of physicians, and it is getting worse every year."

Cooper says his message to students is that "we won’t crack the health care problem until we crack the poverty problems. There are no easy answers, but it can't be ignored. Poverty is the major problem of their generation.”

Cooper will answer questions about his perspectives from College of Osteopathic Medical School Dean Wolfgang Gilliar, DO, and School of Health Professions Dean Patricia Chute, Ed.D. before sharing more in-depth insights from his research. The free lecture at Riland Auditorium begins at 4 pm.

About NYIT

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 13,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 95,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit
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