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Next Medicine: The Science and Civics of Health 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195369687
ISBN-10: 0195369688
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The title is the only dull part of Next Medicine, a fascinating look at how Americans spend their health-care dollars. In this persuasive book, Stanford University doctor Bortz (an avid marathon runner) convincingly argues for more “individual responsibility” when it comes to preventing illnesses from AIDS to heart disease. He uses alarming statistics: in the United States, one in five meals is eaten in a car, “resulting in the anomaly that gas stations make more money from food and cigarettes than from gas.” And Americans spend nearly 20 percent of the gross national product on health care today—up from just 4 percent a half-century ago. That $2.5 trillion a year works out to $8,200 a person on average, yet 5 percent of the population spends half that money. (The biggest chunk goes to facilities charges: Bortz’s was $11,000 for a recent four-hour knee arthroscopy.) Sadly, the United States leads the world in only one health-care category: cost. Bortz concludes that the best, cheapest way for Americans to lower their medical bills is to “take a walk, not a pill.” --Karen Springen

Review


"The title is the only dull part of Next Medicine, a fascinating look at how Americans spend their healthcare dollars...Persuasive" --Booklist


"This text is a clear manifesto for better attention to public health and reorientation of the medical system toward prevention. It is to be hoped that Bortz will continue to plumb his knowledge, wisdom, and experience to drive improvements of the badly broken US health care system." - Journal of the American Medical Association


"... his perception that current medicine is 'irrelevant' is insightful.... its [Next Medicine's] case for a new strategic direction for medicine makes it worth reading." - Science


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195369688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195369687
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,334,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The title of the latest book by Walter Bortz, a distinguished member of the medical establishment, a pioneer in the field of geriatrics, and a prolific author, understates its true purpose. Next Medicine is really a manifesto for a revolution in our health care system. Dr. Bortz provides a brilliant and damning diagnosis of the maladies that beset our present, dysfunctional system and offers a prescription for change that would have transformative effects if it were to be followed. One of his later chapter headings says it all. We must move from a system that is focused on "repair" to one that is focused on "prevention." That would mean a dramatic life-style change for almost all of us, but Dr. Bortz points out that it would essentially be free, and he sets us a personal example. He recently ran his 40th marathon race in honor of his 80th birthday.

We currently spend twice as much per capita on health care as any other major nation with the poorest outcomes of all in terms of key health statistics. This must change, but neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have offered a viable solution. Dr. Bortz does, but it would involve a radical paradigm shift. As he points out, the "medical-industrial complex" has a huge vested interest in the present system, but we don't have to wait for our doctors to see the light. We can move on our own to dramatically reduce their work load. The payoff would be that we would spend far less on health care collectively and lead much healthier lives.

We should take the good doctor's advice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Next Medicine not only as a physician, but as a mother, sister, daughter, and a concerned member of society. It puts right into place everything I think we are all starting to realize, but have not said. I have been reading many books about Western medicine and its faults and assumptions, and this one seems to finally hit the nail on the head! Dr Bortz gives tons of information from all different kinds of sources and outlines for all of us how prevention is really the way we need to start going, and should have gone decades ago! What I hope will be the next step from this book is starting to talk about HOW we can help people achieve well-being -- which is not by getting more fancy scans and nights in the hospital -- but a way that people can SEE they need to exercise, eat right, have social interactions and manage stress, and how people are going to achieve this, rather than running to the medical system to answer things that would have been better answered before the point of illness. Yes, western medicine can be very appropriate at times, and some people will get sick or suffer trauma despite taking several seemingly good, healthy steps. Perhaps employers who are large enough to offer health insurance should also offer a discount on the health insurance rates to those who can prove they use the gym or take a walk with colleagues a certain number of times/week?! Societally we need to start coming up with changes. I hope this book is a start of a new dialogue!
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Format: Hardcover
Doctor Bortz's new publication, Next Medicine,is, by far his most complete explanation of where medicine is today and what remains to be accomplished both by individual Americans and the health care system. The historical review of the evolution of health care is nicely documented and the problems due to the steady rise in costs as new advances become available and utilized are vividly discussed.
The increasing necessity of self-responsibility for good health is emphasized along with proposals for changes in control and delivery of care. Qustions about what these modifications mean to individual freedom, how the proposed regulations would be accepted by the individual and the necessary changes to the legal profession remain largely unexplored.
I found the book a valuable read focusing on increasing problems in medicine and changes that will be necessary in the future.
William meffert
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Format: Hardcover
In 1979 Robert S Mendelsohn MD wrote his landmark book entitled Confessions of a Medical Heretic, challenging the temple of modern medicine. In 1982 Ivan Illich wrote his epoch book, Medical Nemesis, also condemning modern medicine. These powerfully written books did not alter the course of medicine nor will Walter Bortz' Next Medicine. But the book needed to be written, and by a physician who navigates in the hallways of Stanford Medical Center, this is a surprise indeed. Dr. Bortz' audience will likely be physicians who will applaud his efforts while continuing to overbill insurance. Stanford Medical Center has a lot of mortgages to pay. The revolution in health care must be patient driven. The surprise is that a naive public wants more of the ineffective expensive care that modern medicine doles out. The average 65-year old takes 5 drugs without question. The American public wants the so-called miracle drugs and if they don't get them they sometimes even run to the newspaper and claim their insurance company is rationing care. You can lead a horse to water but you can't force him to drink. The hope for any revolution in the practice and delivery of medicine lies in the next generation. For those inclined to read books, read this one.
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