Longtime Fairfield Prof Pens Health Care Textbook

Longtime Fairfield Prof Pens Health Care Textbook

Dr. Michael P. Pagano teaching in the classroom.

Michael P. Pagano, PhD, professor of communication, teaching in the classroom.

Professor of communication Michael P. Pagano, PhD, has written an important guide for those studying — or working in — health care professions, as well as health care policy and administration.

Michael P. Pagano, PhD, previously a physician’s assistant before his career as an educator, has recently written a textbook. The 200+ page volume published by Routledge examines the current state of American health care using a social science lens to focus on the interdependent, intercultural, economic, and communication aspects of access and delivery.

Dr. Pagano’s book, Understanding Health Care in America: Culture, Capitalism, and Communication, explores how the cultures of health care organizations, health professions, governments, and capitalism, as well as communication, all contribute to a “disease-focused, economically driven, technology-centered health care system.”

“The current crisis in U.S. health care can be traced, almost directly, to the 1910 Flexner Report,” Dr. Pagano wrote. “Commissioned by the U.S. Congress to evaluate medical school education, that report led to the closure of 80 percent of all so-called 'medical degree options' in the U.S., and established a criteria for all future medical schools based on the Johns Hopkins Medical School model.”

Routledge describes Understanding Health Care in America as “a comprehensive survey” and “an important guide for those studying, or working in, health care professions, as well as health care policy and administration. It should also be of interest to any reader who seeks to better understand U.S. health care policy from social science, economic, and/or health communication perspectives.

Dr. Pagano’s text, which he uses in the classroom, specifically in his "Introduction to Health Studies" course, also seeks to understand 21st-century health care from a macro-level view, based on historical realizations and the current plethora of interdependent but self-serving realities that provide few, if any, incentives for organizational collaboration and change.

“There are really no incentives for collaboration and change,” Dr. Pagano attested, “We need a national referendum, to change the culture of health care in every aspect of our lives.”

Dr. Pagano, an Oklahoman transplanted to Connecticut who served as an Army corpsman in Vietnam, has been at the University since 2003 and was hired to create a health communication course.

Now the director of the College of Arts and Sciences' Health Studies program, Dr. Pagano explained that, through his tenure, he’s recognized the importance of this field of communication, not just for Fairfield students, but for the University’s mission of creating men and women for others. 

“I truly believe, that there is no better course in our students’ education than one that helps them understand how to communicate effectively as consumers, patients, family caregivers, parents, and taxpayers, but also encourages them to see the problems in our current healthcare system and work to change them — not just for themselves and their families, but for all Americans — from a social-justice, not market-justice perspective."

Learn more about the Health Studies program at Fairfield University.

Learn more about the Health Studies Program at Fairfield University

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Last modified: 05-19-22 5:38 PM

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