Scott W. Atlas

David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow
Research Team: 

Scott W. Atlas, M.D. is the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and a Member of Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy.

Dr. Atlas investigates the impact of government and the private sector on access, quality, pricing, and innovation in health care and is a frequent policy advisor to government and industry leaders in these areas. During the 2008, 2012, and 2016 presidential campaigns, he was a Senior Advisor for Health Care to a number of candidates for President of the United States. He has also advised several members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives and testified to Congress on health care reform. His most recent book is entitled Restoring Quality Health Care: A Six‐Point Plan for Comprehensive Reform at Lower Cost (Hoover Press, 2016). Some of Dr. Atlas's previous health policy books include In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America’s Health Care System (Hoover Press, 2011), Reforming America’s Health Care System (Hoover Press, 2010), and Power to the Patient: Selected Health Care Issues and Policy Solutions (Hoover Press, 2005). Dr. Atlas had a Fulbright award to collaborate with academic leaders in China on structuring health care solutions for China, and also participated with leaders from government and academia on the World Bank’s Commission on Growth and Development. He has also advised leaders on health care and medical technology in several countries outside the US, including Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Dr. Atlas has published and been interviewed in a variety of media, including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Fox News, London’s Financial Times, BBC Radio, The PBS News Hour, Bloomberg Radio, Brazil’s Correio Braziliense and Isto E, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Argentina’s Diario La Nacion, and India’s The Hindu.

Dr. Atlas is also the editor of the leading textbook in the field, the best‐selling Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine, now in its 5th edition and officially translated from English into Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese. He has been editor, associate editor, and a member of the boards of numerous scientific journals and national and international scientific societies over the past three decades. His medical research centered on advanced applications of new MRI technologies in neurologic diseases. While Professor of Radiology and Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center from 1998 until 2012 and during his previous faculty positions, Dr. Atlas trained over 100 neuroradiology fellows, many of whom are now leaders in the field throughout the world.

He lectures on a variety of topics, most notably the role of government and the private sector in health care quality and access, global trends in health care innovation, and the key economic issues related to the future of technology‐based medical advances. In the private sector, Dr. Atlas is a frequent advisor to start‐up entrepreneurs and companies in the life sciences and medical technology.

Dr. Atlas has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his leadership in the field. He is recognized internationally as a leader in both education and clinical research and had been on the Nominating Committee for the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for several years. He has been named by his peers in The Best Doctors in America every year since its initial publication, as well as in regional listings, such as The Best Doctors in New York, Silicon Valley's Best Doctors, and other similar publications. He was honored to receive the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award, the highest career achievement honor for a distinguished alumnus from the University of Illinois in Urbana‐Champaign, his alma mater.

Dr. Atlas received a BS degree in biology from the University of Illinois in Urbana‐Champaign and an MD degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

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Recent Commentary

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Area 45: Scott Atlas Discusses How To Replace Obamacare

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia Area 45
Friday, July 19, 2019

Health care ideas the Senate should embrace.  


Scott Atlas: Healthcare Costs Up, Quality Down. The Problem With Biden's Public Option.

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia Armstrong and Getty
Friday, July 19, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas discusses the flaws in Joe Biden's public option healthcare plan.


Public Option Kills Private Insurance

by Scott W. Atlasvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

At the center of Joe Biden’s health-care proposal is the “public option”—a government insurance policy that would compete with private plans. Mr. Biden has obviously seen the polling. By 57% to 37%, Americans reject the idea, put forth by some of Mr. Biden’s Democratic rivals, of abolishing private insurance in favor of “Medicare for All.”


Shop Till Medical Costs Drop

by Scott W. Atlasvia The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, June 6, 2019

In an effort to bring down the costs of medical care, the Trump administration wants to make prices visible to patients, and it’s moving aggressively to make that happen.


Scott Atlas On The John Bachelor Show

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, May 24, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas discusses his Washington Times article "The Conservative Case for Health Care."


The Conservative Case For Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The discussion about health care reform has changed dramatically to one of single-payer, government-run care vs. a patient-centered, competition-based, decentralized system. Let’s all first realize this: Today’s silence about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, exposes consensus acknowledgement of the failure of Obamacare.

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No Free Lunch— Or Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

“Medicare for all” promises nothing but crippling expense, inefficiency, and delays.


Scott Atlas: What Can Americans Do About The High Cost Of Prescription Drugs?

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia Lars Larson National Podcast
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas discusses why drug prices in the US are so high and what can be done to reduce the high cost of prescription drugs.

In the News

On Retirement: Do Prescription Drug Ads Do More Harm Than Good?

quoting Scott W. Atlasvia Charleston Gazette
Monday, February 18, 2019

Think you are seeing more drug ads on television? You are probably correct. And guess who they are targeting? Us. Older people, that is. Television’s direct-to-consumer drug ads rose by 6.7 percent in 2017 from a year earlier, the most recent data I could find indicates. And the media has proven effective among the elderly, who have the greater therapeutic needs, analysts report.


How To Reduce Prescription-Drug Prices: First, Do No Harm

by Scott W. Atlasvia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

[Subscription Required] Everyone wants to reduce prescription drug prices, but how? First, do no harm. It’s true that Americans pay more for medication than just about anyone else: A 2018 report from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers found that, as of 2009, the price per dose of patented drugs was five times as high in the U.S. as in foreign markets.


Featured Publication: Restoring Quality Health Care

Featured Commentary: In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care

In Excellent Health:  Setting the Record Straight on America's Health Care