Quotes from How We Do Harm

“Psychological and emotional support are legitimate reasons for admittance, though most insurance companies and Medicaid would disagree.”

“…an insured patient with Stage II colon cancer had better odds of being alive five years after diagnosis than an uninsured patient with what should be highly curable Stage I cancer.”

“…no incident of failure in American medicine should be dismissed as an aberration. Failure is the system, and those of us who are not yet its victims are at high risk of being sucked into its turbines.”

“When we, doctors, are at our best, we set aside our self-interest and put the patient’s interest first. When we aren’t at your best, the public pays more in fees, insurance premiums, taxes – and poor outcomes.”

“The problem is, we don’t use our expensive drugs and technologies appropriately. Instead of using these interventions to benefit patients, we use them to maximize revenues, and often harm patients.”

“Patients need to understand that more care is not better care, that doctors are not necessarily right, and that some doctors are not even truthful.”

From How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America by Otis Webb Brawley, M.D., with Paul Goldberg

Although I’m still reading this book, these are a few quotes that stood out to me in the first three chapters.


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