RWJF Pioneering Ideas Podcast: Episode 3 | Empathy, Choice & the Next Generation of Innovators

Mar 11, 2014, 8:00 AM, Posted by

Welcome to the third episode of our podcast, where we explore cutting edge ideas and emerging trends that can transform health and health care. Your host is Lori Melichar, a director at the foundation.

Ideas in this Episode

  • The science of choosing – From TV shows to health plans, Americans have more options than ever before – and we like it. But do we really? What does our relationship with choice mean for our health, and for the health care system as a whole?
  • The radical power of empathy – What happens when a health care provider actually stops and listens to a patient? How does empathy fuel innovation?
  • The next generation of health care innovators – We hear from two students at Princeton University who are studying how to apply social entrepreneurship to address global health challenges.


  • Barry Schwartz: “When you confront people with lots of options...they're going to postpone the decision that they have to make, or they're going to make unwise decisions.”
  • Sheena Iyengar (@sheena_iyengar): “Be choosy about choosing.”
  • Rushika Fernandopulle: “A $45 iPod saved $280,000. Why didn't the system do it? Because there's no CPT billing code for ‘buy iPod from eBay.’”
  • Azza Cohen: “Solutions that are good enough ideas should be able to be replicated.”
  • Justin Ziegler: “We don't need to get on a plane, we don't need to drive anywhere... the health care problems and solutions are right in our backyard.”

Related RWJF Projects

Your Turn

What do you think about what you heard? What would you like to hear more (or less) of in future episodes? Share your feedback in the comments below.

Thank you to WIRED for allowing us to include their recording of Rushika Fernandopulle’s remarks at last year’s WIRED Data Life conference.

Listen to Past Episodes

Check out past episodes of the Pioneering Ideas podcast, where we explore topics like the power of the placebo effect and creating systems for behavior change.  

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.