The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness to Its Source

The Upstream Doctors: Medical Innovators Track Sickness to Its Source

by Rishi Manchanda

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We all think we know what good medicine looks like: smart doctors, stethoscopes, imaging machines, high-tech tests, and the best prescriptions and procedures money can buy. But that picture is vastly incomplete, perhaps fatally so. In this eye-opening book, physician Rishi Manchanda says that our health may depend even more on our social and environmental settings than it does on our most cutting-edge medical care. Manchanda strongly argues that that the future of our health, and our health care system, depends on growing and supporting a new generation of health care practitioners who look upstream for the sources of our problems, rather than simply go for quick-hit symptomatic relief. These upstreamists, as he calls them, are doctors and nurses on the frontlines of medicine who see that health (like sickness) is more than a chemical equation that can be balanced with pills and procedures administered within clinic walls. They see, rather, that health begins in our everyday lives, in the places where we live, work, eat, and play. Upstreamists know that asthma can start in the air around us or in the mold in the walls of our homes. They understand that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease partly originate in our busy modern schedules, in the unhealthy food choices available in our stores, and even in the way our neighborhoods are designed. They recognize that depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure can arise from chronically stressful conditions at work and home, and that such conditions can even affect our DNA. And, just as important, these medical innovators understand how to translate this knowledge into meaningful action. If our high-cost, sick-care system is to become a high-value, health care system, the upstreamists will show us the way.

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940016793696
Publisher: TED Conference, LLC
Publication date: 05/31/2013
Series: TED Books , #38
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,001,421
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Rishi Manchanda is a physician, public health entrepreneur, and writer. He practices internal medicine and pediatrics and is the lead physician at a primary care clinic for homeless veterans at the Veterans Health Administration in Los Angeles. He is also the founder and president of HealthBegins, a startup implementing innovative technologies and training to improve care for patients with medical and social needs. He previously practiced primary care at a community health center network in South Los Angeles, where he served as the clinic�s first director of social medicine and health equity. He is an assistant professor at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and the founder of RxDemocracy, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of health care and civic groups that promote health equity through civic and voter participation.

His work focuses on systems innovations and technologies to improve care of patients with complex medical and social needs. He is a regular lecturer at colleges and universities on innovations in primary care and public health, the social determinants of health, and health and human rights. Manchanda is a board member of the National Physicians Alliance and Physicians for Social Responsibility � Los Angeles, and he has served on the advisory board of the Grameen Creative Lab, a project of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. His writings have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, the HealthAffairs blog, Harvard�s Health and Human Rights journal, and the National Civic Review. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter and enjoys swimming. This is his first book.

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