Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America

Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America

by Nortin M. Hadler
     
 

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Nortin Hadler's clearly reasoned argument surmounts the cacophony of the health care debate. Hadler urges everyone to ask health care providers how likely it is that proposed treatments will afford meaningful benefits and he teaches how to actively listen to the answer. Each chapter of Worried Sick is an object lesson on the uses and abuses of common

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Overview

Nortin Hadler's clearly reasoned argument surmounts the cacophony of the health care debate. Hadler urges everyone to ask health care providers how likely it is that proposed treatments will afford meaningful benefits and he teaches how to actively listen to the answer. Each chapter of Worried Sick is an object lesson on the uses and abuses of common offerings, from screening tests to medical and surgical interventions. By learning to distinguish good medical advice from persuasive medical marketing, consumers can make better decisions about their personal health care and use that wisdom to inform their perspectives on health-policy issues.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Hadler (medicine & microbiology/immunology, Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) amplifies and updates his 2004 book, The Last Well Person: How To Stay Well Despite the Health-Care System, here writing another clear message on his prescription pad: "Rx: less is more." Challenging conventional medical wisdom, he advises a healthy skepticism about the benefits of drugs, routine tests, and many common medical procedures-dubbing what he describes as impeccably performed but medically unnecessary treatments "Type II Medical Malpractice"-and he makes the unfashionable assertion that aches and pains are a normal part of the aging process. Topical chapters provide information on heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other common conditions as well as discussions of how mental states and socioeconomic factors affect health; "shadow chapters" offer additional, specialized information on each topic. Though the book may not convince readers to forgo their annual prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests or mammograms, it will educate them on being far better health-care consumers. This often densely written but provocative look at the U.S. medical system is worth the effort; recommended for larger public and academic libraries.
—Kathy Arsenault

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: This is a guide for consumers to better understand healthcare options, navigate throughout the maze of jargon, and advocate for their own health.
Purpose: The book presents the common issues that most consumers face in healthcare today. Its purpose, though, is to assist the public in making informed healthcare decisions. These worthy objectives are met.
Audience: Although the audience is consumers, health professionals can benefit from looking at healthcare issues from a consumer perspective.
Features: Topics range from the aging population and healthcare needs through interventionists in cardiology as cash drivers in healthcare, to the disease du jour such as cholesterol, breast cancer, and dying. The topics of alternative therapies and insurance are thrown into the mix. Using a teaching approach of a healthcare professional having a conversation with a patient sets the stage. Each chapter contains scientific support for the argument presented. Then a so-called "shadow chapter" follows that presents important scientific papers for more in-depth review of the material. The only shortcoming is that little acknowledgement is given to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) core competencies that drive healthcare today.
Assessment: There is no direct competition for this book. Its unique perspective is a breath of fresh air for critically examining healthcare topics such as cardiac problems and the new specialization of interventionists. It presents options to consumers and encourages them to make informed decisions about their own health. The physician author makes clear the consumer has rights to demand good healthcare.
From the Publisher
To change unrealistic expectations about longevity or lives without pain or illness bucks vested interests, but that is what Hadler does. . . . He knows that the changes he proposes are a long shot, but when people demand that medicine stop doing unnecessary things well, reform becomes possible. Recommended.--Choice

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807882719
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
02/01/2012
Series:
H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
392
Sales rank:
688,399
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Hadler documents that many Americans receive health care that is useless and often harmful because their physicians do not follow scientific standards of effectiveness. He makes a strong case that these standards should be the basis of payment and should guide patients in selecting physicians and consenting to treatment.--Daniel M. Fox, Milbank Memorial Fund

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