Scott W. Atlas

Robert Wesson Senior Fellow

Scott W. Atlas, M.D. is the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and a Member of Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Health Care Policy. He is currently serving as a Special Advisor to the President and is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

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

In the News

Lies, Damn Lies And COVID-19 Statistics

featuring Scott W. Atlasvia PJ Media
Friday, July 3, 2020

As beaches are closed for the 4th of July and even Texas starts to roll back towards COVID-19 lockdown, it sure seems like the goalposts have shifted. The purpose of public health policy went from slow the spread, to flatten the curve, and now seems to stop the spread altogether. Dr. Scott Atlas, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, says the idea of preventing infection is not just unnecessary; it is irrational.

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The Costs Of Regulation And Centralization In Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, July 2, 2020

What is the impact of the Affordable Care Act?


Dr. Scott Atlas On The Larry O'Connor Show

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia The Larry O'Connor Show
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas talks about the latest issues surrounding the country reopening following the coronavirus.


Dr. Scott Atlas Disputes COVID-19 Fear Mongering Tactics From Our Health Officials

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia KUSI
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas discusses why we don’t need to be scared of the increase spread of coronavirus.

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Garret Talks To Dr. Scott Atlas

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia The Morning Ritual with Garret Lewis
Monday, June 29, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas discusses reopening the economy in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

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Stanford’s Dr. Scott Atlas: There Is ‘No Science Behind Having Children Not Attend Schools’

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia Daily Caller
Monday, June 29, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas discusses the recent surge in coronavirus cases among young people. Atlas says there is “no science” behind the notion that children should not attend schools in the fall because of coronavirus. Atlas further explains that there is zero science for having children wear masks or have spacing when they have zero risk from the disease.

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Scott Atlas – COVID-19 Interview

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia Policy@McCombs
Friday, June 26, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas discusses the policies made concerning COVID-19.


The Costs Of Regulation And Centralization In Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Health care is universally among the most regulated sectors. In most nations, heavy regulation of the supply of health care goods and services care is coupled with marked centralization of the payment for medical care. The United States has a far less centralized but still highly regulated system characterized by its unique private components. More than 200 million Americans, including most seniors on Medicare, use private insurance. 

In the News

The Impact On Kids And Teens Of School Closures Due To COVID-19

cited Scott W. Atlasvia Independent Women's Forum
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Policy-makers considering whether and how to reopen schools this fall should consider the following data

The Doctor Is In: Scott Atlas And The Efficacy Of Lockdowns, Social Distancing, And Closings

interview with Scott W. Atlasvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, June 23, 2020


Dr. Scott Atlas’s prescription includes more protection for people in nursing homes, two weeks of strict self-isolation for those with mild symptoms, and most importantly, the opening of all K–12 schools.


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