Too Big to Succeed, Profiteering in American Medicine, by Russell J. Andrews, MD, DEd, is a true eye-opener. We are all hearing about the healthcare crisis in our country, but usually those "scare tactics" are coming from consumer advocates, of one kind or another. In this case, it's a well-established doctor, a long-standing neurosurgeon, somebody on the inside, that is pressing the panic button. And I, for one, am taking notice.
Dr. Andrews paints a very disturbing, but convincing, picture of how healthcare in the U.S. is being driven by profits. Profits for the hospitals, profits for the medical device companies, profits for the physicians, profits for the medical practices, and profits for the drug companies (perhaps the most notorious of the actors in this play/tragedy).
Here is the blurb on the inside cover of Dr. Andrews' book. I think this says it all:
"Medicine in the United States is big business. We spend 50 percent more on health care per capita than other developed countries, but a multitude of measures indicate that we are not getting healthcare value for our money. Dr. Russell J. Andrews details why health care in America has become more expensive but less effective and outlines a new paradigm for healthcare delivery."
Dr. Andrews talks quite a bit about the Hippocratic Oath and how fewer and fewer individual and corporate members are adhering to it. In fact, when talking about a company that provides on-line information about drug doses and interactions, in conjunction with infomercials from the drug companies, Dr. Andrews says: "If Hippocrates's estate had a good lawyer, there might be a lawsuit..." That certainly makes you think.
Too Big to Succeed is not an easy book to read, especially for someone like me, who is not in the medical profession. There is a lot of medical information given, with a bunch of acronyms for medical organizations and a lot of statistics. But it is definitely a worthwhile book to read. Do you want to go behind the curtain and see what's really going on? Spend some time with this book. I can't exactly say you will be glad you did. But when is it ever fun to learn bad stuff about a profession and industry upon which we so greatly rely? Definitely not here. Read it anyway.