Solving the problems and challenges within the U.S. healthcare system requires a deep understanding of how the system works. Successful solutions and strategies must take into account the realities of the current system. This course explores the fundamentals of the U.S. healthcare system. It will introduce the principal institutions and participants in healthcare systems, explain what they do, and discuss the interactions between them. The course will cover physician practices, hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and insurance and financing arrangements. We will also discuss the challenges of healthcare cost management, quality of care, and access to care. While the course focuses on the U.S. healthcare system, we will also refer to healthcare systems in other developed countries. The Stanford University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Visit the FAQs below for important information regarding 1) Date of original release and Termination or expiration date; 2) Accreditation and Credit Designation statements; 3) Disclosure of financial relationships for every person in control of activity content.