The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist's Reflections on Healing in a Changing World

The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist's Reflections on Healing in a Changing World

by Dora Calott Wang M.D.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101187159
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/29/2010
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
File size: 359 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dora Calott Wang, M.D., is psychiatrist who has degrees from the Yale School of Medicine and the University of California-Berkeley. She has been in private practice, served on hospital staffs, and been a medical school instructor. She also has a master's in English from Berkeley and lives with her family in New Mexico.

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The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist's Reflections on Healing in a Changing World 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
astults on LibraryThing 17 days ago
My best friend is a psychiatrist who works with military veterans so I was interested in reading what Dr. Calott Wang thought of the current medical system in the US. The Kitchen Shrink is a memoir that reads like a string of stories to illustrate her points.The flow of the book is good but I had to stop about two-thirds of the way through to give myself a break. It was depressing. I took two days off to read something lighter before returning to it. Some of the changes and consequences Dr. Calott Wang describes were only visible to her in hindsight. I think her book is a good place to start a discussion on how the medical profession became the health care business.
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing 17 days ago
From my book review blog Rundpinne.......Thought-provoking, The Kitchen Shrink by Dora Calott Wang is a look at the changing, oftentimes for the worse, field of medicine. Wang `s memoir details how she began her career with enthusiasm and soon the realities of health care for profit had changed the way medical professionals are to treat their patients. A shocking and thought-stimulating memoir, Wang takes the reader into her life explaining the struggles she as a psychiatrist faces with knowing what a patient may need verses what insurance will allow. The Kitchen Shrink is more than a memoir about one doctor¿s experience, it is a wake-up call to society to take notice of the lack of care, the high medical premiums, and the sudden push of medication instead of therapy. I recommend The Kitchen Shrink to anyone interested in medical care or to those who merely enjoy memoirs.
BlackSheepDances on LibraryThing 17 days ago
At first I thought that The Kitchen Shrink was going to be some sort of self-help book on how to find happiness at home, possibly meditating while doing dishes. I even put off starting it, because I feared it would be full of psychobabble and platitudes like "bloom where you're planted". I was wrong. Yet again.Wang describes herself as "a doctor working in the medical profession as it became the health care industry." Trained as a psychiatrist, her training involved talk therapy, face to face communication, and a personal connection with patients that were seen over a period of time in order to determine what help would be best for their particular problems. However, as she admits "all my jobs since my training in 1994 have been to prescribe medication only." Wang uses this book to explore the processes of what used to be medicine and now could be considered nearly only a pharmaceutical business. While in the past, doctors would look for alternatives to prescribing medication, now the only question is what kind of medication to supply. It's basically a matter of time: talk is expensive, sending a patient off with a prescription is cheap.She demonstrates, effectively, how the changes in the treatment of patients, due primarily to the influence of insurance companies that act like bullies, has harmed the most fragile of patients: those with mental problems and who need personal attention and interaction. According to Wang, "Insurance companies started to call the shots" in medicine, not only suggesting doses but also withholding approval of treatments that might aid the sufferers. In fact, at times their logic was so flawed that they'd refuse to cover a preventative procedure, which would save the money in the long term. Wang describes the changes and problems with many anecdotal details that make it a fascinating read, and you can't help but see that medicine in other specialties is also likely to be turned into assembly line health-care, controlled by health insurance companies that not only lack medical degrees but also simple compassion and reasonableness.One big player in the game that is as insidious as the insurance companies are the pharmaceutical companies. Wang notes with irony that her fridge is covered with Zoloft magnets, and that she writes on a Paxil notepad. While recent laws have cracked down on the practice of pharmaceutical companies providing free "goodies" for doctors, such as pens, clocks, scales, and vacations, the influence still remains strong. Incentives to prescribe their medications, rather than what the patient most needs, is a problem that doctors have to face. Additionally, with their face time with patients dramatically decreased, and the paperwork authorizing visits and procedures increasing, some doctors are leaving their practices out of frustration.This book is eye-opening and at times, it makes you mad. Some cases of poor medical supervision has cost lives for no other reason than greed. Besides revealing this mess, though, Wang offers concepts to ponder in what your own medical care may be, and helps you see ways to benefit yourself by asking the right questions. This book would be a great supplement to How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, Mariner Books, 2008.
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SAHARATEA More than 1 year ago
At first I thought that The Kitchen Shrink was going to be some sort of self-help book on how to find happiness at home, possibly meditating while doing dishes. I even put off starting it, because I feared it would be full of psychobabble and platitudes like "bloom where you're planted". I was wrong. Yet again. Wang describes herself as "a doctor working in the medical profession as it became the health care industry." Trained as a psychiatrist, her training involved talk therapy, face to face communication, and a personal connection with patients that were seen over a period of time in order to determine what help would be best for their particular problems. However, as she admits "all my jobs since my training in 1994 have been to prescribe medication only." Wang uses this book to explore the processes of what used to be medicine and now could be considered nearly only a pharmaceutical business. While in the past, doctors would look for alternatives to prescribing medication, now the only question is what kind of medication to supply. It's basically a matter of time: talk is expensive, sending a patient off with a prescription is cheap. She demonstrates, effectively, how the changes in the treatment of patients, due primarily to the influence of insurance companies that act like bullies, has harmed the most fragile of patients: those with mental problems and who need personal attention and interaction. According to Wang, "Insurance companies started to call the shots" in medicine, not only suggesting doses but also withholding approval of treatments that might aid the sufferers. In fact, at times their logic was so flawed that they'd refuse to cover a preventative procedure, which would save the money in the long term. Wang describes the changes and problems with many anecdotal details that make it a fascinating read, and you can't help but see that medicine in other specialties is also likely to be turned into assembly line health-care, controlled by health insurance companies that not only lack medical degrees but also simple compassion and reasonableness. One big player in the game that is as insidious as the insurance companies are the pharmaceutical companies. Wang notes with irony that her fridge is covered with Zoloft magnets, and that she writes on a Paxil notepad. While recent laws have cracked down on the practice of pharmaceutical companies providing free "goodies" for doctors, such as pens, clocks, scales, and vacations, the influence still remains strong. Incentives to prescribe their medications, rather than what the patient most needs, is a problem that doctors have to face. Additionally, with their face time with patients dramatically decreased, and the paperwork authorizing visits and procedures increasing, some doctors are leaving their practices out of frustration. This book is eye-opening and at times, it makes you mad. Some cases of poor medical supervision has cost lives for no other reason than greed. Besides revealing this mess, though, Wang offers concepts to ponder in what your own medical care may be, and helps you see ways to benefit yourself by asking the right questions. This book would be a great supplement to How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, Mariner Books, 2008.