Lewis Morgenstern, M.D.

Lewis Morgenstern
Professor
Medical SchoolNeurology

Biography

Dr. Morgenstern’s research is focused on stroke epidemiology, disparities in stroke healthcare and outcomes, and community and professional education to improve stroke treatment and stroke prevention.

  • M.D., University of Michigan
  • B.S., Psychology, Pomona College
Featured Member Profile

What are you thinking about?

Our group is somewhat unique in that we do both basic epidemiology and behavior change clinical trials. We use stroke as a common, expensive, and severe model disease to examine health disparities, with a focus on Mexican Americans. Recently, I have become concerned that disease prevention interventions are very paternalistic, complicated, and difficult to sustain, even if proven effective. I am thinking more about interventions that build capacity, reinforce resilience, and allow subject autonomy to determine how best to reach the goal.

Why is this interesting to you?

It seems wrong to me that one group should suffer more than another. I fear that our children’s generation will look back at us and wonder how we could ever let this happen. I also think that it is difficult to tell people what to do and to motivate them to prevent a disease that is 10-20 years in the future when they are worried about feeding their family tonight. This goes beyond community-based participatory research (CBPR); it really involves letting our target populations take control of their health and feel good about doing so.

What are the practical implications for healthcare?

If you believe in the justice principle — that no one group should suffer more than another — then you’re set. If you need more push, consider how remarkably expensive health disparities are to the U.S. health care system. Every time a young Mexican-American person has a stroke and will be disabled for 30 years, he/she loses, his/her family loses, and we all lose, both morally and economically.

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