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John M. Eisenberg Papers 1933-2002
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Biography

Biographical Note

John M. Eisenberg was born in Atlanta, GA on September 24, 1946 and was raised in Memphis, TN. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University in 1968, Eisenberg attended Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis graduating in 1972 with a M.D. After a brief stint with the PHS, he returned east for his residency at the University of Pennsylvania as one of the first group of Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars. During this time he also attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his M.B.A. graduating with distinction in 1976.

After completing his formal education Eisenberg served in numerous professorships from 1976 to 1991 at the University of Pennsylvania. Between 1978 to 1992 he also served as Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1992 to 1997 he served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at Georgetown University. He was also the first physician elected president of the Association for Health Services Research in 1992. In 1986 he was the founding Commissioner of the Congressional Physician Payment Review Commission and also served as Chairman until 1995. Eisenberg then served as the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) from 1997 until his untimely death in 2002.

Eisenberg served in various capacities within the healthcare profession. His tireless efforts to promote quality healthcare from his early years at Princeton University to his Directorship at AHRQ gained him a reputation as a respected and effective leader in the healthcare field.

During his career Eisenberg published over 153 journal articles on topics concerning physicians' practice, test use and efficacy, medical education, and clinical economics in such journals as the Journal of American Medical Association, Inquiry, Medical Care, and the New England Journal of Medicine. In addition, he authored Doctors' Decisions and the Cost of Medical Care (1986), The Physicians' Practice (1980) and co-authored Paying Physicians: Options for Controlling the Cost, Volume and Intensity of Physicians' Services (1992). Finally, Eisenberg also co-edited the textbook Internal Medicine (1998).

Between 1982 and 2001 Eisenberg served on editorial boards for numerous medical journals including the Annals of Internal Medicine, Medical Care, Pharmacoeconomics, and Medicine. He also served on numerous boards, panels, committees, and programs, including the Medical Advisory Board for HPR Inc, the Alpha Center's Board of Directors, and the Advisory Committee for the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation on the New Pathway Program.

During his tenure at the AHRQ he played a major role in several initiatives within the Department of Health and Human Services, including the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry and the Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force. Eisenberg employed evidence-based medicine (EBM) to argue for national changes and international outreach in healthcare. His last important professional issues concerned improving patient safety and decreasing medical errors.

Eisenberg was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Society of General Internal Medicine's Robert J. Glaser Award (1995), the American Medical Association's Nathan Davis Award (2000), and the Baxter International Award (2002). He died March 10, 2002 after a prolonged struggle with a brain tumor.