Join 3,500 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Game-changing articles on health care!
November 17, 2011 8:24 AM   Subscribe

I really like Atul Gawande's book "Better" as well as his article "Letting Go" - in general, topics about systems innovations in health care, especially end-of-life care. Anything else I should read?

I didn't really like Gawande's first book, "Complications" - too many graphic medical details. I'm interested in "big picture" public health perspectives. I welcome both scholarly and laymen-friendly articles/books.
posted by leedly to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
How We Die is excellent.
posted by something something at 8:26 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


David Hemenway's While We Were Sleeping: Success Stories in Injury Prevention is interesting; chronicles advances in public health that we take for granted (e.g., young children dying of aspirin overdose until childproof caps were put on. duh!). The author says the book is for the parents of students of public health, to answer the question "Now...tell me again what public health is and why you are doing this?"

I haven't read it yet, but John McDonough's Inside National Health Reform should be plenty timely.

John Toussaint's On the Mend is a little "Lean will fix EVERYTHING" but interesting enough if you don't know much about the topic.

Fun stuff! Will try to think of more...
posted by teragram at 8:45 AM on November 17, 2011


Oh, also, not about healthcare reform or innovation, but The Sprirt Catches You and You Fall Down details the story of a Hmong child diagnosed with epilepsy in California and the tremendous cultural divide between her parents and her physicians.
posted by teragram at 8:57 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


This one was posted to MeFi recently: the Quiet Health Care Revolution (Atlantic Monthly)
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:31 AM on November 17, 2011


Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains discusses Dr. Paul Farmer's attempts to solve the worldwide tuberculosis epidemic, particularly in Haiti but also in South America and around the world. Treating TB is a huge systems problem, because it requires people to take daily antibiotics for the better part of a year, even when they don't feel sick. The book does a really great job of explaining why this is so difficult, and looks at innovative approaches to getting it done. Dr. Farmer is a visionary at combining the big-picture solutions with the on-the-ground details in a way that really changes healthcare, but the book also shows some personal details about him that are very humanizing. The book is aimed at a layperson, but if the topic ends up interesting you, you can get more details by reading Dr. Farmer's own books on the subject.
posted by vytae at 9:33 AM on November 17, 2011


I found The Healing of America fascinating from a systems/finance/politics point of view. In particular, it gave me a useful framing for evaluating different health reform proposals. (The Frontline episode "Sick Around the World" is basically a video version of the book.)

And if you liked Gawande's writing style, The Checklist Manifesto is excellent, although not just about health care.
posted by epersonae at 11:02 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, also, not about healthcare reform or innovation, but The Sprirt Catches You and You Fall Down details the story of a Hmong child diagnosed with epilepsy in California and the tremendous cultural divide between her parents and her physicians.

That's easily one of the best books I've ever read. You might also like to follow the "Annals of Medicine" and "Medical Dispatch" long-form pieces Jerome Groopman writes for the New Yorker.
posted by Miko at 12:55 PM on November 17, 2011


My friend David's book Hippocrates’ Shadow is about doctor-patient communication.
posted by nicwolff at 1:32 PM on November 17, 2011


Also, since you gave the green light to scholarly sources, Health Affairs is a top health policy journal. If you are affiliated with a university in some way, you should be able to access the papers. Also the New England Journal. While it is a general medicine journal, there are plenty of health policy papers from the big names. I realize this is not a very specific answer, but should give you some things to poke at.
posted by teragram at 3:56 PM on November 17, 2011


I thought the book Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer was very interesting. It's not exactly about systems innovations, but does discuss how little of modern medicine is evidence-based.
posted by Lexica at 7:18 PM on November 17, 2011


Seconding Mountains Beyond Mountains, it's in my top five books of all time.
posted by qsysopr at 9:27 AM on November 18, 2011


« Older Schengen logistics - US citize...   |  Can you help me find a source ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.