OB scathingly indicts the American healthcare (sickcare?) system as we know it. Dr. Brawley is not a fringe lunatic, either; he is a highly respected academic-physician and has impeccable credentials. The concerns he raises come from a deep understanding of our healthcare system and its dysfunctional nature.
Some of my big takeaways:
- Many (if not most) physicians are trained to treat symptoms, not discern and treat root causes.
- Americans spend 2.5 times as much on healthcare as we do on food.
- Many who get "caught" in the system suffer from a cascade of testing, analyses, diagnoses, and interventions, that may or may not be related to their initial complaint.
- The health care system has become more about making money for the physicians, the pharmaceutical companies, and the healthcare industry than it is about restoring our health.
- If you are suffering from some catastrophic illness/malady, the system will eventually bleed you dry (literally and figuratively), then kick you out (unless, of course, you can afford to pay out of your own pocket without end).
- The industry as a whole has forsaken the concept of "the benefit must outweigh the harm."
"The system is not failing. It’s functioning exactly as designed. It’s designed to run up health-care costs. It’s about the greedy serving the gluttonous." (p. 280)
This book was (another) real eye-opener for me. Raised my level of wariness several notches (and I was already way up there on the lack-of-trust-in-the-system scale).