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How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America Hardcover – January 31, 2012
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“My friend and colleague Otis Brawley has written a raw and honest portrayal of our health care system. There are certain to be special interest organizations and medical groups that take issue with Dr.Brawley's conclusions, but few can argue with the scientific rigor he has demonstrated in writing this book. Otis is the go- to oncologist I send so many patients to see, because he is not only a great doctor, but also a compassionate man. As we discuss the transformation of health care in this country, put Dr. Brawley's book at the top of your list.” ―Sanjay Gupta, Associate Chief of Neurosurgery Grady Memorial Hospital, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN
“Otis Brawley shares in equal measure his compelling personal story, the development of modern medical oncology, and the wide range of his strong opinions. Whether you agree with him or not, the reader is given access to Dr. Brawley’s unambiguous scientific and ethical framework. He provides an anvil for shaping your own perspectives and biases.” ―Michael A. Friedman, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Director Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope
“Sweeping, honest and brave . . . How We Do Harm dazzles with a wealth of scientific insight, but its genius lies in the author's recounting of individual patient stories that illuminate the dark underbelly of medicine's missteps. Brawley does not shrink from revealing medicine's warts, butthis book offers much more. It is a triumph of humanity and clarity in which oncology becomes a Rorschach for the practice of American medicine. You will finish this arresting book reluctantly, with a new appreciation of what American medicine could be.” ―Harriet A .Washington, author of Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself and the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future and Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
“Dr. Brawley is a premier academic oncologist and a minority doctor in the nation's largest inner city hospital. How We Do Harm places in stark contrast the health care resources available to the rich and the poor, the insured and the uninsured, the white community and the community of color . He makes the cogent point that more testing, screening, and interventions available to the rich does not always mean better medical care .” ―Bruce Chabner, MD, Director of Clinical Research, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
“Otis Brawley shares in equal measure his compelling personal story, the development of modern medical oncology, and the wide range of his strong opinions. Whether you agree with him or not, the reader is given access to Dr. Brawley's unambiguous scientific and ethical framework. He provides an anvil for shaping your own perspectives and biases.” ―Michael A. Friedman, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Director Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope
“A tough-minded, solidly argued indictment of health care. . . Brawley's sense of outrage is palpable.” ―The Boston Globe
“A powerful contribution to the ongoing discussion on health-care reform.” ―Kirkus
“This book is shockingly detailed and it should serve as a wake-up call to fix the dismal mess and rethink the politics of illness in America. Dr. Brawley provides a well-reasoned manifesto for change.” ―Tucson Citizen
“Any who want to know how behind-the scenes healthcare works will find this a key title.” ―Midwest Book Review
About the Author
DR. OTIS BRAWLEY is the chief medical and scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society. Dr. Brawley currently serves as professor of hematology, oncology, medicine and epidemiology at Emory University. He is also a CNN medical consultant. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and completed a residency in internal medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case-Western Reserve University, and a fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute.
PAUL GOLDBERG is an award-winning investigative reporter who covers oncology for The Cancer Letter, a weekly publication focused on drug development and the politics of cancer. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly and he has been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, CNN and NPR. Goldberg is also the author of two books on the Soviet human rights movement.
Top Customer Reviews
'First, do no harm' is the first precept of medical ethics taught in medical school 'How We Do Harm' is Dr. Brawley's description of the real world, of how medical practice deviates from that basic ethic. The bulk of the book consists of anecdotal examples that he has become aware of.
Dr. Brawley begins by comparing how much America spends on health care vs. other nations. We're now at 18% of GDP, and Switzerland is #2 - at 12%, obviously much lower. We spend 3.5X as much on health care as on food. Canadians spend half what we do, and are ranked #7 in life expectancy. We're #50. More is not better - in fact, American health care is making our nation sick, in an economic sense.
Many health care providers allege that they're financially short-changed by Medicare and Medicaid; others contend that the relatively low reimbursement rates of those programs is a form of 'cost-shifting' that raises rates for others. Dr. Brawley, however, states that providers can still make money at those reduced rates treating complex cases involving uncontrolled diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease, and late-stage cancer.
As for Tea Party allegations of ObamaCare medical rationing, per 'Death Panels', Dr. Brawley says this is already happening - via insurance companies. Yet, irrational spending is still rampant.Read more ›
I think Dr. Brawley gives compelling examples that illustrate how our health care systen is broken.
Read this book!
This is an excellent book unless you are a quack, a greed driven doctor or drug rep. Dr.Brawley points out that we should not waste valiable tax money or even insurance money on unproven cures or on drugs that cost 10-20 times as much as a proven drug. All medical care should be research based, rational and above all "do no harm".
I hate to tell you this, but we as a country cannot afford to waste massive amounts of money anymore. If we don't get serious about health care it will break the country. We cannot afford to transfer wealth to quack doctors or for procedures that don't work. A spinal fusion costs about $80,000 yet 80% of the research says it does no good and it does a lot of harm. Is this any way to run a health care system?
If you don't believe Dr. Brawley read the research for yourself.
Use a little of your time to dig and see if he is telling the truth.
A lot of the raw research is locked up tight and hard to access and not easy for a lay person to understand. We must rely on honest doctors like Dr. Brawley to tell us the truth about our healthcare system
The chapters on the "PSA" test for prostate cancer were shocking to say the least.
All the examples about the breast cancer problems are on point.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book. Very well-written. Riveting case examples offered by a caring physician whose cautionary tales reveal him to be a passionate advocate for good medical practice... Read morePublished 23 days ago by MSWool
This is a very readable and engaging expose of the failings of the medical care system in the US. It may help patients receive better care by enabling them to be more involved in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by HHDRM
Now in my 7th decade, I spent my entire career in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. I can attest to the veracity of Dr. Brawley's dissertation. Read morePublished 2 months ago by NoName
It took me a long time to finish this book because a lot of it seemed like the author was gloating about his ethics/stances/beliefs/story, while being a bit petty towards other... Read morePublished 2 months ago by E. L.
definitely opened my eyes to the healthcare system. A must read.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent very informative book regarding many aspects of our health care system. The book is very well written and can be understood by the layman. Read morePublished 2 months ago by shopping Nanna
Everybody should read this book to protect yourself and your loved ones from unnecessary, painful, and dangerous tests, drugs and "treatments". Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joan A. Ketchum