Leslie D. Michelson

Founder, Chairman and CEO of Private Health Management
Author, The Patient’s Playbook

Expert on patient-focused health care

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Leslie Michelson is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Private Health Management, a unique, patient-focused company that has helped hundreds of private individuals and thousands of corporate clients obtain exceptional medical care through a cutting-edge and proprietary team-based approach. His best-selling book, The Patient’s Playbook: Finding the "No-Mistake Zone", empowers readers to achieve the best possible health outcomes by using the same lessons and tools. Mr. Michelson is the CEO of The Patient’s Playbook, which delivers content to help people become more effective health care consumers across multiple forms of media. Leslie’s Patient’s Playbook events in Los Angeles, California won the Young Presidents' Organization’s Regional Award for Best Personal Development Program.

Mr. Michelson has been involved in almost all aspects of the health care system, starting at age 29 when he served as Special Assistant to the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held during the Carter and Reagan administrations. Since then, he has founded and led five entrepreneurial health care companies focused on improving quality of care; he was CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the world’s largest source of philanthropic support for prostate cancer research; and he has been an active investor, advisor and board member for many companies.

Mr. Michelson is on the Advisory Board of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the board of the ALS Therapy Development Institute. He also serves as a director of a number of real estate investment trusts, business development corporations, and health services and life sciences companies. Mr. Michelson received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and J.D. from Yale Law School.


The Patient's Playbook

Finding the "No-Mistake Zone"

Leslie D. Michelson

The Patient’s Playbook is a call to action. It will change the way you manage your health and the health of your family, and it will show you how to choose the right doctor, coordinate the best care, and get to the No-Mistake Zone in medical decision making. Leslie D. Michelson has devoted his life’s work to helping people achieve superior medical outcomes at every stage of their lives. Michelson presents real-life stories that impart lessons and illuminate his easy-to-follow strategies for navigating complex situations and cases.

The Patient’s Playbook is an essential guide to the most effective techniques for getting the best from a broken system: sourcing excellent physicians, selecting the right treatment protocols, researching with precision, and structuring the ideal support team. Along the way you will learn:

  • Why having the right primary care physician will change your life

  • Three things you can do right now to be better prepared when illness strikes

  • The ten must-ask questions at the end of a hospital stay

  • How to protect yourself from unnecessary and dangerous treatments

  • Ways to avoid the four most common mistakes in the first twenty-four hours of a medical emergency

This book will enable you to become a smarter health care consumer—and to replace anxiety with confidence.

Vintage; Reprint edition (18 Oct. 2016)
Knopf; 1 edition (September 1, 2015)


"The decisions you make about your medical care will have a profound impact on you and your family's life . . . Successfully steering through the medical system can be a challenge. In The Patient's Playbook, Michelson gives away secrets of the trade — lessons he's learned from more than thirty years of helping people get better outcomes . . . He levels the playing field by providing average patients who have ordinary health insurance with the resources, advice, and tools they need to make better medical decisions . . . As a patient, you have more power than you think. This book will help you find that power and use it to maximum advantage."
— From the Foreword by Peter T. Scardino, M.D., Chair, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

"What a tour de force! Every health care consumer (and caregiver) can greatly benefit from this practical guide to achieving better health outcomes. Simple, actionable advice abounds, and each recommendation for how to best navigate the complex health care system is enriched with Leslie Michelson's recounting of poignant stories from his extensive experience. With this playbook, all of us can better protect our most valuable asset — our health."
— Jonathan E. Fielding, M.D., Distinguished Professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Geffen School of Medicine, and former director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

"Trust me — you need this guide because everyone at some point faces a health crisis. Michelson details, step by crucial step, how to navigate the terrifying world of doctors, hospitals, second opinions, drug trials, and insurance so you get lifesaving results."
— AARP Best Books of 2015

"Michelson implores patients to be intensely involved in their own care... He urges "bring their A-game" to the doctor's office...advocat[ing] smart care, not more care."
The Wall Street Journal

"In this unique and useful book, [Michelson] maps out a plan to organize competent medical care when needed....he provides advice and resources that help individuals become medically prepared, make sound health-care decisions, and more likely achieve favorable results....An invaluable resource, The Patient’s Playbook can effectively assist individuals in navigating the complex and often overwhelming world of illness."
— Booklist (Starred Review)

"Unlike most how-to books, this one is thick with advice and instructions....what's at stake: Your need to obtain the best possible diagnosis and treatment from an expensive but fractured netowrk of health care providers....The steps Michelson offers for negotiating the system mirror what his company does for patients — finding top experts and coordinating care....his insights about the importance of getting your caregivers to notice and talk to you is invaluable."
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

"A primer on making the right moves as an active participant in your health care....Michelson is the CEO of a company that works with patients to get the best possible care--not only from the best possible physicians...but also through guiding guiding them through the process described in this book, one that shifts the role of care director over to the patient....with this useful book, patients can have more say over what direction treatment takes rather than just going along for the ride."
Kirkus Reviews


Leslie tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

The Patient's Playbook: The No-Mistake ZoneTM

Lessons from The Patient's Playbook In this speech, based on the lessons from his best-selling book, The Patient’s Playbook, Michelson shares life-saving strategies and decision-making tools that will help patients become savvy health care consumers, partnering with their physicians to ensure expectations, goals, and values are being met to achieve the best outcomes. Participants learn how to find the right doctors, choose the best treatment protocols, and utilize proven research to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones. A terrific tool and service for any company that wants to reduce health care costs for their employees and themselves, Michelson's lecture will change the way people think about medicine and their health.

The New Health Care Transparency: Reform That Everyone Can Believe In

Just as data transparency has disrupted countless industries, from transportation (Uber) to lodging (Airbnb) to dining (Yelp), the time has come for a transparency revolution in healthcare. In this speech, Michelson discusses how and why the combination of price and outcome transparency and patient empowerment will drive meaningful reform. He explains why the disconnect between patients and providers is a problem for patients, why the market forces that drive efficiency across the rest of the economy are finally impacting healthcare, and provides an overview of the business opportunities in the space. When addressing healthcare industry groups, Michelson provides detailed guidance on how to be at the forefront of the transparency movement, including how to build a culture of systemic excellence, measure outcomes, provide price information, and engage with patients as healthcare consumer partners.

The Biomedical Revolution and its Profound Impact on Our Health and Our Wealth

There is no sector of our economy that is more important or changing more rapidly than health care. Leslie Michelson has spent more than three decades expertly navigating this flawed and challenging landscape for thousands of individuals and companies. In this speech, Michelson describes some of the unprecedented changes underway in biomedical research, such as human genome sequencing, and delivers practical advice on how to get the best care in this fast-changing environment. When addressing wealth management firms, Michelson demonstrates how these innovations will result in people living longer, requiring them to spend more on health care than they anticipate, and what wealth managers can do to ensure their clients are financially equipped for these changes.


'The Patient's Playbook' a Guide for the Health Care System | ABCNews

The Patient's Playbook | PBS

The No-Mistake Zone

The Biomedical Epoch