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A Conversation about Canadian and American Health Care with Lee Kurisko, M.D.

Lee Kurisko is a Canadian radiologist who formerly practiced in Thunder Bay, Ontario, as director of diagnostic imaging for Thunder Bay Regional Hospital. For most of his life, as he has written, he was a “staunch believer in the moral superiority of Canada’s system of universal health care.” But upon “confronting the obstacles to delivering quality care under such a system,” he came to realize the “profound economic, logistical and even moral limitation of providing health care in a government-run, one-party-payer, universal health care system.” So while already in his 40s (this was a half-dozen years ago), he moved to Minnesota, where he serves on the Board of Directors of Consulting Radiologists Ltd., based in Minneapolis. He works primarily out of St. Francis Regional Center in Shakopee, but also practices at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and the New Ulm Medical Center in New Ulm.

He’s a graduate of the medical school at the University of Ottawa and did a two-year residency in family medicine at Ottawa Civic Hospital as well as a four-year residency in radiology at the University of Manitoba. He and his wife Laraine, a clinical depth psychologist, have two children.

Peter Nelson, an American Experiment policy fellow and the Center’s lead authority on health care, interviewed Dr. Kurisko on his experiences as a doctor under Canada’s single-payer system in contrast to his current medical practice in America.

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