How Is U.S. Health Care Bad? [Chart]

An illustration of World Health Organization data on how the United States compares to 16 other countries

There are 0.5 general physicians per 1,000 people in the U.S. The average among OECD nations is 1.23. The average cost of a hospital stay in the U.S. is $18,000, compared to an OECD average of $6,200. Those are among many data points compiled into one giant infographic by George Washington University's online Masters in Public Health program (which calls itself "MPH@GW").

Here is a full-screen version, if you prefer.

This is an example of academia in the market for creating shareable content, which seems potentially both good and confounding, but in this case good. The data is substantive and important, drawn from the World Health Organization's World Health Statistics 2013 report. So share with friends and memorize some data to save for discussions and rants about the health care system in coming months. Or keep it a secret.

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James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He writes the health column for the monthly magazine and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk.

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