Recommended Healthcare Reading

A recent poisting on the Better Health blog recommends four books to better understanding the US healthcare system:

Reviews of these books can be read on the Better Health blog and on the Amazon websites linked above.  Of the four, I felt that "How Doctors Think" was exceptionally helpful not just in understanding how doctors think but in how all of us make decisions.  It describes our natural thought processes, the types of errors in judgement that we can make based on our own experiences, and the ways in which these errors can affect our subsequent actions.  Given this knowledge, it then presents some thought processes that we can follow to reduce the possibility of the types of errors that the author describes.  It's an interesting book on human psychcology as well as physician thought processes. "Better" is the second of Gawande's three excellent books, the others being "Complications" and "The Checklist Manifesto".  All of these describe his experiences as a surgical resident, and later as a practicing surgeon, and his quest to eliminate errors and improve the quality of medical care.  He is a frequent author in The New Yorker and other publications, and his articles on "The Hot Spotters" and "The Bell Curve" should be required reading for everyone involved in healthcare - they are thoughtful and practical looks at significant problems in today's healthcare system. To this list I would add the following:

More detailed reviews of these and other books can be found on my LinkedIn page.