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Randall S. Stafford

Randall S. Stafford, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, SCPKU Fellow April-June 2014
Stanford Health Policy Associate

Stanford Prevention Research Center
Stanford University
1000 Welch Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1825

(650) 724-2400 (voice)
(650) 725-6906 (fax)

Research Interests

chronic disease prevention and treatment; trends in primary care practice; promoting the adoption of evidence-based therapies; patterns of medication prescribing; pharmaceutical costs and promotion; diminishing racial and socioeconomic disparities in health care


Randall Stafford is an associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and a fellow at CHP/PCOR. He is an epidemiologist, health services researcher and primary-care internist. His research focuses on patient and physician interventions to improve chronic disease prevention, and the mechanisms by which physicians adopt new prevention practices. Many of his published studies have documented and raised concerns about the so-called "quality gap" -- the healthcare system's failure to consistently implement clinically proven therapies -- and have helped shape policy initiatives aimed at improving medical care. His research has also focused on drug costs and patterns of medication prescribing. At the Stanford Prevention Research Center, he directs the Program on Prevention and Outcomes Practices. He maintains clinical responsibilities at Stanford's Preventive Cardiology and Internal Medicine clinics, and serves on Stanford Medical School's faculty Senate.

From 1994 to 2001 he served on the faculty at Harvard University Medical School and at Massachusetts General Hospital's Institute for Health Policy, where he was principal investigator on several federally funded projects that assessed and sought to improve physician practices. As assistant director of primary care operations improvement at Massachusetts General, he led several projects aimed at improving the quality of outpatient care at the hospital. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2001.

Stafford earned a BA in sociology from Reed College, an MS in health administration from Johns Hopkins University, an MD from UC-San Francisco and a PhD in epidemiology from UC-Berkeley. He completed an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in epidemiology at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.