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Atheen Venkataramani Discusses Health, Social Class, and … Hope

Physician, professor, and economist Atheendar Vankataramani joins me for this iteration of Our Social Landscape. Atheendar practices medicine at The University of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Medical Center and teaches Health Policy at Penn as well. He also has a Ph.D. in economics and he combines these specialties as the director of the Opportunities for Health Lab, whose work examines how economic opportunity shapes our health and how health affects opportunity.

The conversation covers the impacts of social class on health, the relative effects of race compared to social class, “deaths of despair”, and suggestions for how to improve the health status of vulnerable Americans (which would also benefit the rest of Americans!).

More information about Atheendar and his work can be found here:

The podcast features the songs “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin and “DOA” by Van Halen.

Our interview can be found under the Podcast tab, or here:

All episodes of Our Social Landscape can be found on iTunes, simply type oursociallandscape into the search box. If you have any questions or comments, email me at

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