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Unabridged   7.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 09/05/2023


A Doctor's Quest to Piece Together American Health Care

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696613231


An award-winning physician-writer exposes how pervasive cracks in the health care system cost us time, energy, and lives—and how we can fix them.

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Product Description

There's an unspoken assumption when we go to see a doctor: the doctor knows our medical story and is making decisions based on that story. But reality often falls short. Medical records vanish when we switch doctors. Critical details of life-saving treatment plans get lost in muddled electronic charts. The doctors we see change according to specialty, hospital shifts, or an insurer's whims.

In this gripping narrative from medicine's front lines, Ilana Yurkiewicz reveals how a system that doesn't talk to itself puts insupportable burdens on physicians, patients, and caregivers. The stories she tells are at once harrowing and commonplace. A patient narrowly averts an unnecessary, invasive heart procedure by producing a worn rhythm strip he has carried in his pocket for a decade. A man diagnosed with leukemia while visiting from abroad has thirty-one physicians, but no one he can call "his" doctor, with tragic consequences. When Yurkiewicz's own father falls ill, a culture that incentivizes health care providers to react with quick fixes leads to weeks of additional suffering.

The system is hanging by a thread, and we need better solutions. Yurkiewicz issues a clear-eyed call for change, naming concrete reforms doctors and policymakers can make, and empowering patients and their loved ones to advocate for themselves in the meantime.

Author Bio

Ilana Yurkiewicz, MD, is an oncologist and internal medicine physician on the faculty at Stanford Medicine. Her medical journalism has been published in the Atlantic, Scientific American, Undark, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and elsewhere. She lives in Palo Alto, California.