David Mechanic

David Mechanic

René Dubos University Professor of Behavioral Sciences Emeritus and Founding Director, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, Rutgers University


David Mechanic, PhD, is the René Dubos University Professor of Behavioral Sciences, Emeritus and Founding Director (1985-2013) of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers University. His research and writing deal with social aspects of health and health care. Mechanic received his PhD from Stanford and joined the University of Wisconsin faculty in 1960, where he was chair of the Department of Sociology (1968-1970), the John Bascom Professor of Sociology (1973-1979), and director of the Center for Medical Sociology and Health Services Research (1972-1979). He moved to Rutgers University in 1979, was dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (1980-1984), directed the NIMH Center at Rutgers for Research on the Organization and Financing of Care for the Severely Mentally Ill (1988-2004) and established the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research (1985) which he directed until 2013. He also served as the director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program (2000-2012). Mechanic is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). He was also honored by the NAM with two awards, the Adam Yamolinsky Medal (2008) and the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health (2009). He has served on numerous panels of The National Academy of Sciences, federal agencies and non-profit organizations. Mechanic has received many awards including the Health Services Research Prize from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration and the Baxter Allegiance Foundation, the Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology, Distinguished Medical Sociologist Award and Lifetime Contributions Award in Mental Health from the American Sociological Association. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in The Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. He has written or edited more than 25 books and approximately 400 research articles, chapters and other publications in medical sociology, health policy, health services research, and the social and behavioral sciences.