Robert M. Wachter, MD is Professor and Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he holds the Lynne and Marc Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine. He is also Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine, and Chief of the Medical Service at UCSF Medical Center. He has published 250 articles and 6 books in the fields of quality, safety, and health policy. He coined the term “hospitalist” in a 1996 New England Journal of Medicine article and is past-president of the Society of Hospital Medicine. He is generally considered the academic leader of the hospitalist movement, the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine.
He is also a national leader in the fields of patient safety and healthcare quality. He is editor of AHRQ WebM&M, a case-based patient safety journal on the Web, and AHRQ Patient Safety Network, the leading federal patient safety portal. Together, the sites receive nearly one million unique visits each year. His 2004 book on medical errors, Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America’s Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes was a national bestseller. He is also author of Understanding Patient Safety, the leading primer in the field; the 2nd edition was published in 2012. Dr. Wachter has appeared on many television and radio shows, including Good Morning America, PBS’s NewsHour, and NPR’s Fresh Air, and been quoted in virtually every major newspaper and newsmagazine. He received one of the 2004 John M. Eisenberg Awards, the nation’s top honor in patient safety and quality. He has been selected as one of the 50 most influential physician-executives in the U.S. by Modern Healthcare magazine for the past six years, the only academic physician to achieve this distinction. He is a former chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and has served on the healthcare advisory boards of several companies, including Google.