In Why We Revolt noted patient care researcher Dr. Victor Montori delivers an eloquent look at healthcare in the U.S. and the many ways it could be reformed.
Early on, Montori, professor of medicine and diabetes specialist at the Mayo Clinic, offers a metaphor of how patient care should be: As a physician pulls up a chair to the patient’s bedside, it’s as if two boats have come aside each other. Lines are thrown. The clinician enters the patient’s personal space: “Who came to visit you today?” he asks. “Who is in that picture at your bedside?” For a moment, their worlds are aligned—“the clinician suddenly noticing the person in the patient.”
Unfortunately, the U.S. healthcare system doesn’t always work that way. Using real-life examples from his native Peru and the U.S., the author shows how U.S. healthcare is less about patient care and more about productivity and cost-saving. This emphasis on for-profit “industrial medicine” negatively impacts patients and clinicians alike. And it’s why a revolution to make patients the priority is necessary.
In this collection of engaging personal essays, deftly written with telling anecdotes, Montori contrasts scientific, unhurried, person-centered care with alternatives that can lead to poor outcomes: the refusal to renew an online prescription one day early, or the physician who scolds a patient with diabetes for not exercising more—ignoring the patient’s painful neurological foot complications.
The solution, he notes, is treatment designed to fit each patient’s life, rather than a generic approach. When doctors communicate and share clinical decisions with patients, the result is care that’s competent, cautious and compassionate.
Despite his disturbing examples of U.S. healthcare gone awry, Montori’s call for a humanistic revolution is based on belief that reform is possible. His book, directed at clinicians and patients, may be preaching to the choir, but his analysis of the current healthcare system is a moving clarion call to action that any reader will appreciate.
BlueInk Heads-Up: It’s well worth visiting Montori’s corollary website patientrevolution.org for additional tools and action items.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.