We have recently acquired several new books at the library that look at the practice of medicine and the state of healthcare in today’s world. Come to the library to check out these and other great new books.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
In his newest book, bestselling author Atul Gawande explores how medicine, centrally focused on improving life, can improve the process of its ending. Many innovations and advances in medicine have served to extend life, but too often are simply extending suffering. Gawande argues that improved quality of life is what patients and families really want. He offers examples of more fulfilling models of end-of-life care and explores the variety of hospice care that has been developed, showing how our healthcare system can foster not only a good life, but a good end.
The Doctor Crisis: How Physicians Can, and Must, Lead the Way to Better Health Care by Jack Cochran M.D. and Charles C. Kenney
In The Doctor Crisis, Dr. Jack Cochran, executive director of The Permanente Federation, and author Charles Kenney address a healthcare system in which being a physician is more difficult and less rewarding than ever. The flawed U.S. healthcare system discourages and prevents doctors from always putting patients first, while they navigate regulation, bureaucracy, liability, and reduced reimbursements. Despite these struggles, the authors show how doctors can work to repair the system by being leaders as well as excellent clinicians in order to put the focus of American healthcare back on the patient.
The Cost of Cutting: A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry by Paul A. Ruggieri M.D.
Surgeon Paul A. Ruggieri looks at the hidden costs and hidden flaws of our healthcare system, answering the question of why surgery is so expensive. Ruggieri shows how business arrangements among hospitals, insurance companies, and surgeons affect treatment decisions and care. He also explains how to protect one’s own health (and wallet) and suggests how the United States can reduce the cost of surgery without reducing the quality of care.
Conflicted Health Care: Professionalism and Caring in an Urban Hospital by Ester Carolina Apesoa-Varano and Charles S. Varano
Based on thousands of hours of participant-observation, as well as focused interviews, this hospital ethnography looks at the daily professional lives of physicians, nurses, social workers, and many other health care professionals. While all these groups champion caring ideals, the authors show the complex situations that arise in patient care and interoccupational relations as these clinicians struggle through long hours on the hospital floor.
Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar (November 2014 book group selection)
Doctored is the story of the broken American health care system, told through the eyes of an attending cardiologist. Dr. Sandeep Jauhar expected medicine to be a stable and secure career (as his non-physician father often advised him it would be) in which he would be able to form meaningful relationships with patients, delivering the best possible care. However, after finding that his hospital salary isn’t enough for his family to get by on, he attempts to supplement his income in other ways, delivering talks for a pharmaceutical company, and later moonlighting in private practice. He recounts how blatant cronyism determines patient referrals and unnecessary tests are routinely performed in order to general revenue. And yet the specialization of the medical profession means that a patient often sees numerous doctors without getting a full picture of their condition. Jauhar is also the author of the acclaimed memoir Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation, which can be checked out from the library’s collection.
Vital Conversations: Improving Communication Between Doctors and Patients by Dennis Rosen
Dr. Dennis Rosen is a Boston Children’s Hospital pediatric pulmonologist and sleep specialist. In Vital Conversations, Rosen has used his personal experiences living and practicing medicine in different countries as well as research from biomedicine, sociology, and anthropology to inform his recommendations for improving doctor-patient communication, which in turn serves to improve healthcare outcomes and decrease costs. Rosen is also the author of Successful Sleep Strategies for Kids, which is available for check out on the library’s Nook and Kindle e-readers.