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If your browser did not deliver you directly to the book you sought, books lower on this page include:

Should Patients be told of Better Care Elsewhere? by Denise Grady, an article that can be read for free on this site by clicking that link.

How to Prevent a Hospital from Killing You, by Yinka Vida

The system is designed to make money at your expense. It was never designed to protect the patients.

Medical Errors and Medical Narcissism, by John Banja, PhD

Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care, by Marty Makary, M.D.

The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry, by Paul Starr

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, by T. R. Reid

The Medical Malpractice Myth, by Tom Baker


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Medical Errors and Medical Narcissism, by John Banja, PhD


I quote from this book in several places on this site. Among other things it covers the psychological reactions of caregivers to iatrogenic injuries, the origins of medical narcissist characteristics (emotional disengagement, ideological rigidity, and compulsiveness) how they are reinforced during medical training, and how that can compromise truthfulness and ethics. It also discusses basic things like what an error is. A reader's long review of it can be seen at Amazon.com. This one is expensive.



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How to Prevent a Hospital from Killing You by Yinka Vidal

The author has worked in medicine for more than 40 years. His wife works in medicine. At the time this was written his daughter was training to work in medicine.

He says that the first myth that patients should stop believing is that hospitals operate in the interests of patients. He says that the system never was designed to protect patients. It was designed to make money at their expense. He says that the last 36 years of efforts to make medicine safer have made it worse. Finally he has had to conclude that there is no point in writing articles and reports for other people in medicine. It is time to tell patients so that they can watch out for themselves.

Expect the normal responses from other health care professionals - that he must have an axe to grind and that faith, hope and trust are better for patients to have than skepticism and wariness of an industry where the people infecting them cannot even be persuaded to wash their hands (see the studies cited in Micromanage on this site - they really cannot be persuaded to wash their hands).

Caregivers do keep saying things that we have to add to our list of the myths believed in medicine.

It is only $2.99 for Kindle at Amazon.

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The book everybody is reading:
Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care  by Marty Makary, M.D.

Breaks medicine's code of silence and exposes practices that exist for financial gain - not the well being of patients.

It is interesting to read at Amazon.com the reviews by health care professionals saying things like, "I think it's important to remind readers that the majority of physicians are competent" and saying that it was in the remote past when physicians looked the other way about inept colleagues. They are that blind to what patients experience. Reading Makary's book gives us an inside look at what doctors and nurses know, but reading the reviews at Amazon you gives a look at some of what they don't know.

A reviewer said that medicine already is plenty transparent: "constant competition to attract patients . . . cannot abide too many negative outcomes. Word of mouth is enough to damage the reputation of a physician or hospital." Injured patients everywhere will be pulling their hair out upon hearing such self-serving myopia from yet another member of the medical profession.

In any case, the book contains very useful information. Makary tells us about the doctor nicknamed Shrek who does open surgeries when less invasive procedures are available - and infects 20% of his patients. Dr. Makary says, “So many times . . . I wanted to tell patients to run away.”

Employees at 60 reputable U.S. hospitals were asked: “Would you feel comfortable receiving medical care in the unit in which you work?” More than half said no.

Makary also talks about the pharmaceutical industry. Drug companies practically bribe doctors into prescribing the most expensive options for patients who have no opportunity to shop around or get second opinions. The high markup on chemotherapy drugs is a particularly disturbing example.

The book contains information that should be known by every patient and everyone helping to take care of a patient.

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The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid

He took the problem with his shoulder on the road to experience health care in a variety of countries and give us the benefit of his firsthand experience.

One reviewer called it, "Comparative Health Economics 101. With a really fun professor."

He does have an axe to grind. He is in the camp that believes that single payer is the way to go. So he manages to conclude that the countries with the best care have some form of single payer (just imagine what you would be eating if the food industry were single payer). But the sections that cover his personal experience when trying to get treatment are less ideology driven.

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The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry  by Paul Starr

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize in American History.

The history of how American medicine came to be provider driven instead of patient driven.


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The Medical Malpractice Myth,  by Tom Baker

The author's father is a doctor. His father-in-law is a doctor. He himself teaches tort law, has done field research on personal-injury litigation (of which medical malpractice suits are a part), and is the director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut School of Law. In The Medical Malpractice Myth he dismantles the myth that medical malpractice suits are driving up the cost of medicine. He has been dismantling it for years, but medicine often ignores facts that are not in its interest.

The myth about frivolous lawsuits is a mirror of many of the myths believed in health care. The community of doctors agrees on many things that are of benefit to itself no matter how much they fly in the face of the facts and no matter how bad they may be for the community of patients. It is normal for the medical community (as it is for many people) not only to be unaware of evidence that contradicts their world view, but even to find ways to dismiss or deny that which it was not possible to ignore.

It also is strategic

"Part of the art of politics is keeping supporters focused on the things they agree upon so that they don’t break up the coalition by fighting about other things. Tort reform is one issue on which doctors, health insurers, and most businesses clearly agree. The medical malpractice myth helps to maintain that alliance..."

Being surrounded by others who share your perspective is a powerful reinforcement. In medical school they should teach views on this that are based more on fact than on the interests of their community so that some future generation might have a less self-serving view of the world.

This book could help with that.

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Should Patients be told of Better Care Elsewhere? by Denise Grady
If you are going to read only one thing on this site before reading Community Patient Agencies, make it this article. It can be read on this site at this link where you also will find links to the original New York Times article. It is about doctors recommending profitable care rather than better care, even when the profitable care unnecessarily puts the patient on a colostomy bag for life.


The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors, by George Bernard Shaw (1909)

At the time of this writing this book could be viewed for free at the Gutenberg Project at the link below.

It also is available for free for Amazon Kindle. A paperback version also is available at Amazon for $10.

It is one of the classic works on medicine.


Index of Patient Safety Books