The arguments regarding as to what we need to do in the United States to address problems in the delivery of health care are the stuff of current headlines. Loud competing voices drown out any possibility of comprehension. On many days it's difficult to know where to go for information much less make any sense of the scope of what is and is not working.
Anyone wishing for a clear, accurate and reader friendly snapshot from a doctor in the trenches should include Audrey Young, M.D.'s new book The House of Hope and Fear - Life in a Big City Hospital (Sasquatch Books, 2009) on their list of absolutely critical must reads!
Young's a fine writer in addition to also being an absolute gift to laypersons outside the profession who've had occasion to rue the stereotypical chasm between themselves, medical professions and other health care system providers. She's most adept at putting a human face on so many of the current dilemmas facing all sides, while combining a historian's long and big picture vision with the rapid and highly focused, diagnostic and decision making skills called for in her profession.
A Seattle native, she holds a BA in History from University of California at Berkeley and received her medical degree from University of Washington. She was Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Washington Medical School and a practicing staff physician at Harborview Medical Center.
For those with tight if any windows for reading - Young's books are as relatively slim as they are most readable. Young's previous book What My Patient's Taught Me: A Medical Student's Journey (Sasquatch Books, 2007) is another reader's gem as well.