My purpose is to inform and educate people about the life of a doctor, the rigorous training involved, the daily routine of medical practice and the difficulties of reconciling the business of medicine with our ultimate goal of healing. My emphasis is on how the health care and malpractice crises affect physicians, and on how the doctor-patient relationship has suffered. Through a combination of personal reflections, surveys of physicians, statistical references and examples, I paint a picture of the physician that is more reality based than the TV shows, yet just as dramatic. This book attempts to portray physicians as people, not commodities and not technical robots, not the ultra rich and certainly not the heartless.
I felt that I had something to contribute to the health care literature, especially in light of the changes coming as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. While there is promise of improving access to health care for patients, the burdens placed on physicians and their attitudes toward this legislation need to be expressed. We need to understand the issues from the physicians’ perspective, from the other end of the stethoscope.
My mission is to convey the importance for all people to pay attention to the medical profession, to understand their physicians’ struggles and rewards, and to assist in salvaging the relationship that is suffering between doctor and patient. Suggestions for possible solutions to the ongoing problems facing doctors in this country are presented. I hope this book helps to promote better communication and transparency in the medical field. My advice to those of you considering a career in medicine or surgery; Go into it with open eyes and open hearts. For the rest of you, humanity, please remember that physicians too are only human.
I wrote this book because I’m worried about America’s future. American businesses have become more efficient over the last 10 years, but their employees can’t feel it. Workers are more productive, but the fruit of their labors is missing from their paychecks because it’s being sucked into the healthcare system. As well, U.S. businesses face a competitive disadvantage because they pay so much more for healthcare than companies in other countries. I’m not talking just about China, either. I’m talking about developed countries such as Australia and Sweden.
I want a future that allows America to continue to make things and sell them to other countries. I want a future in which our children or grandchildren don’t pay for the excesses of this generation, and unless we change course now, they’ll drown in an ocean of federal government debt. America’s healthcare system is a significant contributor to this debt, and new
approaches must be implemented to prevent imminent disaster. During the health reform debates of 2009-‐‐2010, several commentators talked about bending the healthcare cost curve at some ill-‐‐defined point in the future. The cost curve doesn’t need to be bent; it must be snapped off and reattached at a lower level. The root causes of expensive American healthcare have not been addressed. I will expose the core issues of the crisis that the special interests don’t talk about.
Ultimately, my proposed solutions are about choices. I fundamentally believe America is great because it respects the integrity and intelligence of her citizens and allows them to make the best decisions for their families. I want you to have
choices that currently don’t exist. Thank you spending your valuable time to see the healthcare system from a different
perspective. By working together, maybe we can bring a healthy dose of sanity and a sense of proportion to our dysfunctional healthcare system, and thereby save our children’s future.
In "Shock Therapy for the American Health Care System: Why Comprehensive Reform Is Needed," Dr. Robert Levine offers an easily understandable diagnosis of the problems plaguing our current health care infrastructure, with discussions that include the roles of various stakeholders--insurance companies, "big pharma," hospitals, health care providers, and patients. He also dispels a number of myths designed to make voters leery of any reform efforts. Levine's comprehensive plan addresses everything from bloated bureaucracies to unnecessary procedures to the handling of negligence and malpractice lawsuits/claims. Throughout, Levine backs his proposals with facts and comparisons to systems in various countries, and concludes that even now, with disaster looming, the ultimate goal of providing health insurance for every American is achievable and affordable.
Sheldon Cohen M.D. FACP