In this book, Bernard Lown, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, medical innovator and renowned cardiologist laments the state of modern medical care. The book takes us on a journey spanning thirty years of his career as a cardiologist, as he shares stories and vignettes that offer deep insight into the evolution of medicine.
One of Lown’s chief complaints is the lack of time and concern shown by medical practitioners in understanding patients’ medical problems. Doctors don’t have the time to take health histories (which according to him can eliminate expensive tests as well as stress in patients), or ask pertinent questions about emotional health and family relations (often the cause of physical ailments). Several resort to scaring the patients by painting ‘worst case scenarios’ making the medical and emotional situation worse. In short, they are just not intrinsically invested in their patients’ well-being anymore and want to handle more patients in as little time as possible.
The book is both engaging and informative. Lown writes about his personal journey in the field of cardiology and his success with developing the difibrillator and other breakthroughs. He manages to steer clear of heavy medical terms and therein lies the success of the book: it can be understood by people with no background in medicine (like me) and still offer value. His style is crisp and in several places, witty and humorous. He also shares his experiences with alternative medicine such as acupuncture on his visits to China and urges the medical professional to keep an open mind and explore and experiment with different forms of healing.
The book also covers the area of taking care of the society’s old and elderly and offers some unique thoughts on death and dying: an area not many allopathic practitioners address at all.
This is an old book but I chanced upon it rather recently. Better late than never I say 😉
If you want to buy this book, here’s the link to Amazon.com