Uncle Sam's Shame: Inside Our Broken Veterans Administration

Overview

Kantor's objective in this book is to help Washington, the Veterans Administration (VA) staff, the vets themselves, and the general public understand the shortcomings of VA medicine today beyond what they read in the newspapers, so that all concerned can chip in to help improve the medical care that all the vets, and not just those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, are receiving. He reveals exactly how everyone?Washington, veterans, advocacy groups, the various members of the VA staff (including the doctors), ...

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Overview

Kantor's objective in this book is to help Washington, the Veterans Administration (VA) staff, the vets themselves, and the general public understand the shortcomings of VA medicine today beyond what they read in the newspapers, so that all concerned can chip in to help improve the medical care that all the vets, and not just those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, are receiving. He reveals exactly how everyone—Washington, veterans, advocacy groups, the various members of the VA staff (including the doctors), the nonmedical and medical administration, the clerks and the rest of the ancillary staff, and the vets themselves—are all together responsible for the breakdown of the system, as he argues that all contribute a share to creating that endpoint: a severe state of havoc with the vets' medical care.

Kantor goes on to describe some of the signature illnesses from which vets suffer, and in the process pinpoints exactly how the system specifically manages to mismanage these ailments, making already serious medical problems even worse. In addition, the author envisions a more ideal VA of the future, bringing forth specific improvements that will assure its implementation. The book concludes with a description of the more positive aspects of the system, offering a platform upon which meaningful reforms can be built.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"With breathtaking range, from the concerns of veteran health care sparked by coverage of Walter Reed Hospitcal to concerns about misuse and abuse of posttraumatic stress disorder diagnoses, Kantor, a medical doctor who worked for the VA from the 1960s through the 1990s, offers a detailed look at the troubled system."

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Booklist

"Uncle SaM&Apos;s Shame should be required reading for all who believe they 'support the troops,' because that support must not end when the warrior returns home."

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Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313346507
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2008
  • Series: Praeger Security International Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

MARTIN KANTOR, M.D., is a Harvard psychiatrist who has been in full private practice in Boston and New York City, and active in residency training programs at several hospitals, including Massachusetts General and Beth Israel in New York. He has served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical School and as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School. He is author of sixteen other books, including: Lifting the Weight: Understanding Depression in Men, Its Causes and Solutions (Praeger, 2007), The Psychopathy of Everyday Life: How Antisocial Personality Disorder Affects All of Us (Praeger, 2006), Understanding Paranoia; A Guide for Professionals, Families, and Sufferers (Praeger, 2004) and Distancing: Avoidant Personality Disorder, Revised and Expanded (Praeger, 2003).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Ch. 1 An Overview of the VA Bureaucracy 9

Ch. 2 Psychological Reasons for Staff Mistreating Veterans 26

Ch. 3 Problematic Medical Care 36

Ch. 4 Problematic Nonmedical Administration 50

Ch. 5 Problematic Medical Administration 57

Ch. 6 Problematic Ancillary Staff 67

Ch. 7 Problematic Veterans Groups 75

Ch. 8 Problematic Oversight from Washington 82

Ch. 9 Difficult Patients 88

Ch. 10 The Potentially Violent VA Patient 112

Ch. 11 Problems with the Physical Structure 119

Ch. 12 Money and VA Medicine 122

Ch. 13 Toward Better Medical Care for Vets 127

Ch. 14 Self-help: How Vets Can Become Better Medical Consumers 152

Ch. 15 A Look to the Future/Recommendations 162

Ch. 16 On the Positive Side 177

References 185

Index 187

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