David Chan, MD, PhD, an associate professor of health policy and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), has been awarded the prestigious 2023 ASHEcon Medal for his impact to date on the field of health economics.
The medal is given each year by The American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) to early-career health economists whose research is making a difference in the field. Recipients must be 40 years-old or younger or have finished their core education within the previous 10 years.
Chan doesn’t study health insurance markets, unlike a lot of economists in his field. Rather, he focuses on the delivery of patient care at the point of diagnosis and treatment to analyze impacts on costs and health outcomes. Chan — also an investigator at the Department of Veterans Affairs — found that veterans rushed by ambulance to VA hospitals have significantly higher survival rates than vets transported to non-VA hospitals. Among other insights, he has shed new light on the role of physician skill in diagnosing patients and shown that emergency room doctors are far more likely to order tests, which can be done quickly but often at a high price, at the end of their shifts. More recently, he found that health care costs are higher and patients in the ER fare worse when they are treated by nurse practitioners rather than physicians.
Chan joined the Stanford faculty in 2013, the same year he earned a PhD in economics from MIT. A graduate of UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, he also serves in various roles at the Department of Veterans Affairs: a staff physician, investigator and co-director of the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI.)