Literary pick of the week: Doctor dissects the health care system in ‘Why We Revolt’

15November 2020

Have you ever complained about waiting in the doctor’s office, only to feel you were rushed out? Don’t blame the physician. Blame America’s increasingly industrialized and exploited health care system, says Dr. Victor Montori in “Why We Revolt,” his first-person dissection of our ever-more-expensive system that fails the very people it’s supposed to help — patients.

Sometimes called “the patient’s doctor,” Montori is an award-winning endocrinologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and a researcher. He is founder of The Patient Revolution, a nonprofit organization meant to translate into action the ideas proposed in his book. Proceeds from sales will support its mission.

Montori will talk about his call for a patient revolution at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in conversation with Ryan Armbuster, senior fellow and director of health administration executive studies at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, presented live on Facebook by Eat My Words Books.  For information go to eatmywordsbooks.com.

Writing in the first person out of his own experiences, Montori uses essays and short stories to uncover faults in the health care system. Costs continue to soar while physicians are pressured to push through cases without regard for patient satisfaction. The system pursues standardization, which causes care to become generic and impersonal. Anyone who has been involved with insurance companies, hospital billing offices and other often-frustrating parts of the system will nod their heads at Montori’s assertion that more and more expectations have been placed on patients, and when they can’t fulfill directives even though they want to, they are considered noncompliant and sometimes asked to leave programs.

As Montori writes in his Epilogue: “I have chosen to speak of a revolution because reform is not enough. It is time for a patient revolution not only because it has patient care as its goal but also because it believes citizens — healthy people, patients who are not too sick to mobilize — must lead the way. Clinicians will join soon, while others will follow later as they free themselves from corporate shackles, relinquish the spoils of industrial healthcare, recover their faith, and start believing in our probable success.”

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