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Doug Wojcieszak talks about why doctors should apologize — not clam up — over their medical errors, and why some patients criticize his Sorry Works! program.

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New York state has an interesting job that is foreign to most other states, the office of the Medicaid Inspector General. Lucky for health writers, the Inspector General there, James G. Sheehan, believes not only in rooting out people who are ripping off taxpayers, but in sharing his techniques and tactics with reporters.

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Dr. Mark D. Smith is president and CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation, or CHCF, an independent philanthropy committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California and to helping consumers make informed health care and coverage decisions. Since CHCF's formation in 1996, Smith has led the California HealthCare Foundation in developing research and initiatives aimed at improving California's health care financing and delivery systems.

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Dr. Laurene Mascola is chief of the Acute Communicable Disease Control (ACD) unit for the Los Angeles County Department of Health's Public Health Programs & Services, which performs disease surveillance and epidemic control activities for more than 60 diseases. Mascola oversees the County's programs for immunization, food and water safety epidemiology, vectorborne (insect) disease, hospital outbreaks and bloodborne diseases. Mascola has extensive experience in epidemiology and disease prevention, publishing more than 100 articles and abstracts in numerous medical and public health journals.

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The UCSF Primary Care Research Center focuses on issues involving access to care, primary care providers and improving health outcomes in vulnerable populations. Dr. Bindman is acting chief of the division of general internal medicine and director of the Primary Care Research Center, as well as an attending physician in the General Medical Clinic. Dr. Bindman's interests include health care access and its impact on patients' health, evaluation of health care reform and primary care workforce issues.

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