Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D.

Joint Appointment, Wharton School and School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Founding Chair, Clinical Center of the NIH
Former Special Advisor on health policy, Office of Management and Budget

The future of healthcare.

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Ezekiel Emanuel is one of the leading practitioners shaping the future of healthcare, with a long record of experience at the top levels of policy. He is an engaging, incisive, forthright, and witty speaker on healthcare reform and the transformation of American medicine. Trained both as an oncologist (MD, Harvard Medical School) and a political scientist, Zeke offers a uniquely thoughtful perspective on the most difficult issues in medicine today.

From February 2009 to January 2011, Zeke was a special advisor for health policy to the White House Office of Management and Budget. As one of the most prominent voices advising the White House about healthcare, he had a significant impact on federal healthcare budgets and the Affordable Care Act.

Today, Dr. Emanuel holds a joint position at the Wharton School and the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he chairs the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy. He is a founding chair at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. He currently serves as Chair of the meta-council on The Future of Health Committee for the World Economic Forum. Until 1997, he was an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School.

In his forthcoming book, Prescription for the Future: The Twelve Transformational Habits of Highly Effective Medical Care (June 2017), Zeke looks to the future to describe how the best healthcare in the US will be achieved in coming years.

His previous book, Reinventing American Health Care, is the definitive account of the ACA — what it changes, what we can expect going forwards, and what this means for your audience. Zeke ends the book with a reflection on “Six Megatrends” — six bold predictions about the radical changes we can expect in the next ten years. His is also the author of, Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family, a true American success story of how one family produced three high-achieving kids. His other books include The Ends of Human Life and No Margin, No Mission: Healthcare Organizations and the Quest for Ethical Excellence.

Dr. Emanuel served on President Clinton's Health Care Task Force, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), and the bioethics panel of the Pan-American Healthcare Organization. He developed The Medical Directive, a comprehensive living will that has been endorsed by Consumer Reports on Health, Harvard Health Letter, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles on the ethics of clinical research, health care reform, international research ethics, end of life care issues, euthanasia, the ethics of managed care, and the physician-patient relationship. He is also a contributor to Fox News offering healthcare and policy analysis.

He received numerous awards including election to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Science, the Association of American Physicians, and the Royal College of Medicine (UK) and many others. Hippocrates Magazine selected him as Doctor of the Year in Ethics. His articles have appeared in such medical journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and JAMA. His popular writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and many other publications.


Prescription for the Future

The Twelve Transformational Habits of Highly Effective Medical Care

Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D.

Author, physician, and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel is one of our country's leading thinkers on healthcare reform. In Prescription for the Future, he looks to the future to describe how the best healthcare in the US will be achieved in coming years. Emanuel highlights the surgeons who have embraced and already implemented the best practices of the future today, and the physicians or managers in at least six different physician groups from across the country who have developed innovative care models and driven successful change.

In particular, he highlights the significant common attributes shared by the best medical practitioners: focusing services on the high-cost chronically ill, streamlining processes of care, providing more intense outpatient services with standardized care practices, and using rigorous data collection to provide identifiable, comparative performance data. The book also examines the three “megatrends” that will dominate the near future of healthcare: The first will be total care — moving all but the most complex care out of the hospital and office back to patients' homes. The second will be the reinvention of the primary care team — the increased need for primary care physicians, behavioral health care providers, and nurses, as well as the creation of a new community-based role, the health advisor. The third trend will be the end of many medical specialties.

This book will be an essential guide to the future of healthcare — not only for professionals employed in America's largest sector — but also for anyone who wants to distinguish competent and progressive medical teams from outmoded and ossified surgeons — so that you can be sure to get the best healthcare of the future if you need it today.

PublicAffairs; 1 edition (June 6, 2017)

Reinventing American Health Care

How The Affordable Care Act will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System

Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D.

Health care is the largest employer in America, one of the largest perceived drains on the budget of the Federal government, a system with the capacity to bankrupt entire state economies, and one of the areas of personal expenditure that gives individual American citizens most financial anxiety. It matters like almost no other dimension of the government and private sector. Yet the system is widely misunderstood, and is a confusing maze to most of us who feel crushed by its complexities quite as much as we feel served by its doctors and nurses.

Reinventing American Health Care explains why the American health care system is the way it is (why, for instance hospitals are so dominant), and the five problems that confront any attempt at reform. Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Kennedy and Nixon all came to power promising universal coverage, and all failed. Emanuel explains how this happened by way of showing how extraordinary the passage of the Affordable Care Act was: it completely bucked the trend, in the face of some very tough political circumstances. With his unique insider’s view, Emanuel explains why the Affordable Care Act took the shape it did, and in particular examines the political role of the American Medical Association. He then projects how the ACA will affect health care in the future, laying out the likely areas where further reform will be necessary.

PublicAffairs (March 4, 2014)


A Story Of A Law, A Look At It's FutureHealth Affairs
ReviewThe Washington Post
Book ReviewThe Boston Globe

Brothers Emanuel

A Memoir of an American Family

Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D.

For years, people have been asking Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, the brash, outspoken, and fiercely loyal eldest brother in the Emanuel clan, the same question: What did your mom put in the cereal? Middle brother Rahm is the mayor of Chicago, erstwhile White House chief of staff, and one of the most colorful figures in American politics. Youngest brother Ari is a Hollywood superagent, the real-life model for the character of Ari Gold on the hit series Entourage. And Zeke himself, whom the other brothers consider to be the smartest of them all, is one of the world’s leading bioethicists and oncologists, and a former special advisor for health policy in the Obama administration. How did one family of modest means produce three such high-achieving kids? Here, for the first time, Zeke provides the answer.

Set amid the tumult of Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s, Brothers Emanuel recounts the intertwined histories of these three rambunctious, hypercompetitive Jewish American boys, each with his own unique and compelling life story. But ultimately, this is the story of the entire Emanuel family: the tough, colorful Old World grandparents; a mischievous, loving father who immigrated to the United States with twenty-five dollars and who enthralled his boys with tales of his adventures in Israel’s war for independence; and a proud, politically engaged mother who took the boys with her to rallies and protests — including a civil rights march through the streets of Chicago led by Martin Luther King himself.

Even as the Emanuels distinguished themselves as individuals, the bond of brotherhood that tied them together was never broken. Brothers Emanuel is a wry, rollicking, and often poignant narrative of how one American family succeeded in raising three extraordinary children.

Random House Trade Paperbacks (November 12, 2013)
Random House (March. 26, 2013)

Healthcare, Guaranteed

A Simple, Secure Solution for America

Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D.

America spends more than any other developed nation on healthcare — $2.1 trillion in 2007 alone. But 47 million Americans remain uninsured, and of those Americans who are insured, many suffer from poor health. In his ground-breaking proposal, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel offers up a plan to comprehensively restructure the delivery and quality of our healthcare. By eliminating employer-healthcare and establishing an independent program to evaluate healthcare plans and insurance companies, he offers a no-nonsense guide to how government can institute private insurance options that will allow each of us a choice of doctor and plan. With the rate of healthcare costs rapidly outpacing our gross domestic product, we can no longer afford to maintain our fragmented delivery of care, or entertain reforms that seek to patch, rather than cure, a fractured system. Accessible, straightforward, and revolutionary in its approach, Healthcare, Guaranteed is an inarguable guide to lasting healthcare reform.

PublicAffairs; 1 edition (May 26, 2008)


"The best of recent books on this question is happily the shortest and clearest and comes out this month. I think it has the answer. The proposal laid out in Healthcare, Guaranteed by Ezekiel Emanuel ... has convinced me. Whether it will convince others is in doubt for reasons I will come to. But if you are going to read one book on the subject, make it Mr. Emanuel's."
Financial Times

No Margin, No Mission

Health Care Organizations and the Quest for Ethical Excellence

Steven D. Pearson, James Sabin, and Ezekiel J. Emanuel

Can the ethical mission of health care survive among organizations competing for survival in the marketplace? On this question hinges not only the future of health care in the US, but that of the health care systems of all advanced countries. This book presents both an analytic framework and a menu of pragmatic answers. The team of authors, physician-ethicists from Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health, worked with a consortium of health care organizations to explore some of the most challenging dilemmas in health care today: How can health plans determine medical necessity in a way that ensures quality care, controls costs, and builds trust with patients and physicians? What are the strategies for caring for vulnerable populations that meet their special neds without dramatically increasing costs? To answer these and other similar questions the authors blend ethical analysis with real-world example.

The outcome is a rich analysis of the ethical challenges facing health care organizations, combined with tangible examples of exemplary methods to address these challenges. This book will help health care leaders, regulators, and policy makers incorporate exemplary practices, and the underlying themes they embody, into the very heart and soul of health care organizations.

Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (August 21, 2003)

The Ends of Human Life

Medical Ethics in a Liberal Polity

Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D.

Ezekiel Emanuel, trained as both a physician and a political theorist, rejects the claim that most of today's dilemmas of medical ethics are created by advances in medical technology. He maintains that the seemingly endless debates are the inevitable consequence of liberal political values. He proposes an alternative ideology, a liberal communitarianism that imagines a federation of political communities dedicated to democratic deliberations to guide the formulation of laws and policies.

Harvard University Press (August 19, 1998)


Zeke tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

The Future of Obamacare — Topic, Ezekiel Emanuel

Donald Trump’s election probably means the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but lots of questions remain. What does that really mean? Will there be a replacement? What might that look like? With a long record of top-level policy experience, Ezekiel Emanuel has the answers. First, “repeal” means, at the least, the end of the health care exchanges, the coverage mandate, and government subsidies for coverage. Republicans prefer repeal and delay, but this means chaos in the insurance markets and millions of people losing their coverage. What then? Republicans mostly agree on block-granting Medicaid as an alternative, but disagree on the details. Dr. Emanuel can lay out for your audience the principles that will govern the necessary compromise and the elements that will likely define the system we will get. His is an indispensable message for all the stakeholders in health care reform — and that means all of us.

Delivering Healthcare of the Future: The 12 Transformational Practices of Highly Effective Medical Organizations

Physicians and hospitals are always being asked to transform their care, to embrace the triple aim and provide more patient-centric, high –quality care. But what does this mean? How can physician practices and hospital systems become higher-value providers?

After studying approximately 20 successfully transformed, high-performing medical organizations, including both innovative medical organizations and new companies, Dr. Emanuel delineates 12 key practices necessary for transformation. and These practices range from changing how patients are scheduled, registered, and roomed, to incorporating behavioral health services, palliative care, community-based interventions, and lifestyle interventions with standard primary care. Through engaging case studies of patients and medical organizations, Dr. Emanuel illustrates how these transformational practices can be effectively implemented.

Recognizing that no medical organization can implement 12 practices simultaneously, Dr. Emanuel separates the transformational practices into three tiers of differing priority. Using this model, Dr. Emanuel shows how, through the implementation of these 12 practices, a provider or practice can transform to deliver consistently high-quality, low-cost care.

Dr. Emanuel also address on the growing field of virtual medicine. Taking a contrarian perspective, he argues that virtual medicine should not be a central component to a medical organizations’ transformational strategy. Remote monitoring, virtual visits, and other technologies are unlikely to be an effective way to improve quality and lower costs, especially for high-cost patients with chronic conditions.

The applicability of the 12 transformational practices extends beyond use by only providers and health systems. Through case studies, Dr. Emanuel shows that these same practices may also be used by patients to find high-performing physicians and practices for their own personal care.


American health care is changing more rapidly now than it has in decades. What will our health care system look like 5,10 years from now? How will it impact your audience? In this talk, Dr. Emanuel will outline the changing landscape of American healthcare. He will begin with discussing the effects of the health reform on our current system and then will make specific, data-driven predictions about the future of American health care. He will conclude with concrete advice for what your audience can do to adapt to this new environment. There are few people better positioned to project the future of American health care than Dr. Emanuel — and he will draw on his vast experience as a practicing physician, researcher, policymaker, as well as his discussions with thousands of leaders in the health sector to help audiences understand what’s coming next in the health care system.

Health Care Reform and the Future of American Medicine

In this presentation, Zeke describes the pressing need for health care reform, the key innovations in the Affordable Care Act, and how they are likely to impact the actual delivery of care. From improving efficiency with "inter-operable" electronic health records to restructuring care delivery to improve outcomes and lower cost, Dr. Emanuel will provide an insider's view of the vision driving health care reform, the challenges looming, and how the future of American medicine will impact you.

Why I Want to Live at 75

Taking his controversial essay in The Atlantic, “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” as a starting point, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel will explain why he wants to live to 75. He will question conventional wisdom about aging and dying and will push audience members to define for themselves what makes a life meaningful.


Doctor Outlines Plan To Battle Antibiotic Resistance

The history of Health Care and the Affordable Care Act | America's Town Hall

Book Discussion on 'Reinventing American Health Care'

The Ethics of Healthcare | Chicago Humanities Festival


A national non-profit healthcare case management association:
Zeke's presentation was very well received and I enjoyed meeting him.
His topic was right on target for our audience. Dr. Emanuel is an engaging speaker who understands the challenges nurse and social work case managers face in their practice.

A State's largest health care system:
Zeke — Mission accomplished with your talk on Tuesday. We received a lot of positive feedback. You stimulated their thinking and the background from your book has helped all of our leaders better understand the ACA and the strategic implications as we move forward. Only wish we had you for more time and a chance for an even larger group to hear you.

A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization on understanding global affairs:
Your session …. was surely a crowd favorite. The panelists’ thoughtful discussion and candid remarks on the ACA gave the audience an opportunity to assess the law for themselves. Your rational analysis of the law provided context to many of our guests.

A nonprofit, nonpartisan forum on foreign policy and international relations:
One of the best policy discussions on ACA some folks had ever heard


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