Next Medicine: The Science and Civics of Health

Next Medicine: The Science and Civics of Health

by Walter Bortz, MD
     
 

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Every year, the average American spends about $7,300 on medical expenses. The typical Canadian pays $2,700, the Briton only $2,000. And yet, according to the World Health Organization, our healthcare system, in terms of total quality, ranks thirty-eighth in the world, right between Costa Rica and Slovenia. Not only do 40 million Americans lack health insurance, but

Overview

Every year, the average American spends about $7,300 on medical expenses. The typical Canadian pays $2,700, the Briton only $2,000. And yet, according to the World Health Organization, our healthcare system, in terms of total quality, ranks thirty-eighth in the world, right between Costa Rica and Slovenia. Not only do 40 million Americans lack health insurance, but more than 200,000 die each year because of medical mistakes. Our average life expectancy is lower than Cuba's.

In Next Medicine, Dr. Walter Bortz zeroes in on why the American medicine is spiraling toward disaster. A physician with fifty years of experience and a leading authority on aging, Bortz argues that the financial interests of biotech and drug companies have distorted the healthcare system. Thanks to them, medicine today is economically motivated to treat disease rather than to prevent it. Heart disease, for example, is widely treated with drug interventions and invasive surgery—both of which are extravagantly profitable for pharmaceutical giants and hospitals. Daily exercise and a healthy diet, on the other hand, can prevent heart disease, and can be obtained by patients essentially for free—but there's no money in that. The medical-industrial complex has a vested interest in keeping us sick, and until that changes medicine will fail to effectively address the leading cause of disability and mortality today: chronic diseases like diabetes that are largely preventable. Bortz proposes a medical system that emphasizes personal responsibility and provides incentives for healthy lifestyle choices, along with new training for medical professionals.
Through a lively narrative full of personal anecdotes and jarring statistics, Bortz makes a powerful case for a radically new medical system—one that is based on rigorous science and loosens the strangle hold of corporate interests on American health.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The title is the only dull part of Next Medicine, a fascinating look at how Americans spend their healthcare dollars...Persuasive" —Booklist

"This text is a clear manifesto for better attention to public health and reorientation of the medical system toward prevention. It is to be hoped that Bortz will continue to plumb his knowledge, wisdom, and experience to drive improvements of the badly broken US health care system." - Journal of the American Medical Association

"... his perception that current medicine is 'irrelevant' is insightful.... its [Next Medicine's] case for a new strategic direction for medicine makes it worth reading." - Science

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195369687
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/03/2011
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Walter Bortz II, M.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine. He is an authority on aging, a marathon runner, and the author of We Live Too Short and Die Too Long: How to Achieve and Enjoy Your Natural 100-Year-Plus Life Span and Living Longer for Dummies.

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