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Persuasive, Engrossing and Empowering,
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This review is from: Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care (Hardcover)
My question, after reading "Unaccountable," wasn't why Dr. Makary had written such a book, but why another doctor hadn't written this book sooner?
"Unaccountable" is a raw and stark look inside the American medical system. Sucking you in, right from the start, with the true story of HODAD - a renowned surgeon at Harvard - worshiped by his patients, but known to all the residents to be the most dangerous doctor on staff - Dr Makary paints a picture of a medical system that is viewed to be a well-oiled machine, but in actuality, is more like "The Wild West," rampant in medical mistakes and impaired physicians.
Dr. Makary argues that transparency is the key to revolutionizing health care in the U.S., and is, instead, convinced doctors and hospital administrators need to stop their ever-present culture of secrecy. Patients should not walk blindly into hospitals, but have full access to a wealth of data regarding infection rates and surgical complications. According to Dr. Makary, hospitals have little to no incentive to improve these "danger zones," to the detriment of their patients, and only once they are forced to be competitive in their level of patient safety will Americans receive the care they deserve.
Though, a bit disappointed that Dr. Makary did not delve a bit more into the unethical mistakes of the pharmaceutical industry, (perhaps he will take on this issue in his next book) he does horrifyingly discuss how cancer doctors actually make a good deal more money if a patient is prescribed chemo than if he is given an alternative option.
"Unaccountable" is not just for doctors, though, it is imperative they devour every word. Above all, it is a necessary read for everyone who has ever known someone in a hospital, has ever been in a hospital or might someday find themselves a patient in a hospital. I'm fairly certain that doesn't leave anyone out!
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Initial post: Sep 19, 2012 12:13:55 PM PDT
Aimee Brandt says:
Yes: more needs to be said about pharmaceutical company-doctor relationships and how big pharma influences doctors to promote more expensive (aka the latest thing) meds than actually needed. Kickbacks, anyone?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2012 9:45:20 AM PDT
B. L. Friedberg says:
With relationship to the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), Big Pharma is a bit more subtle than outright kickbacks for promoting the latest patented drugs. For every drug study published, many, many more are funded but failed to reach statistical significance required for publication.
The reason the ASA has refused to get behind the self-evident concept of direct brain measurement to anesthesia is that universal practice would result in 30% less drugs being used. The resultant 'hit' to Big Pharma could call into question the practice of providing millions of support dollars to the ASA.
Of all the places in the hospital, the operating room is clearly the most frightening, especially because of scare pieces like 'Coma'
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