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John M. Eisenberg Papers 1933-2002
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Collection Scope and Content Note


Administrative materials, research files, correspondence, journal articles, audiovisual materials, biographical material, and photographs (1933-2002; 113 linear feet) document the medical career of John M. Eisenberg, MD, former Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Materials cover Eisenberg's education at Princeton University and his careers at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, and AHRQ. The collection is evenly divided between research and administrative materials used by Eisenberg in speeches, lectures, writings, and management responsibilities.

The collection comprises nine series: Administrative Materials, 1971-2002; Correspondence, 1969-2002; Personal and Biographical, 1962-1976; Professional Organizations, Projects, and Contacts, 1979-2000; Publications, 1933-2001; Reports/Research Papers, 1974-2002; Audiovisual Material, 1980-2002; Photographs, 1993-1996; and Computer Disks, 1992-1997.

Created in 1989, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality housed within the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and formerly known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research supports program evaluation and research projects that aim to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare. Work supported by the agency strives to help Americans make educated decisions in their choice of healthcare services and providers. The AHRQ carries out the "health services research continuum" through its five Centers. These Centers include the Center for Outcomes and Evidence, Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships, Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets, Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends, and the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety.

Many of his research methods focused on evidence-based medicine (EBM), the practice of making medical decisions through judicious identification, evaluation, and application of the most relevant published information. Eisenberg's research methodology depended heavily on vociferous reading of relevant publications and articles, internalizing the issues, and then formulating his own opinions for speeches, policy making, or his own writing. Therefore the collection contains a significant amount of photocopied and clipped articles on medical issues from newspapers, journals, and magazines which can be found in Series I: Administrative Materials, Series V: Publications, and Series VI: Reports and Research Papers. A significant amount of these materials have no citations.

Of significant interest is Series VII: Audiovisual Material, which contains audio and video cassettes from 1980 to 2002 that document Eisenberg's plans and proposals for quality healthcare. These cassettes contain his lectures at many institutions and his interviews on numerous television and radio programs concerning healthcare quality. Documentation concerning location and dates on some tapes is poor but nonetheless this series give unique insight to Eisenberg's philosophy on healthcare.

Series VIII: Computer Disks, contains both computer disks maintained by Dr. Eisenberg from 1992 to 1997 as well as paper copies of all the files on the disks which were able to be opened. These are primarily correspondence and reports.

Show all series level scope and content notes