A motivational and elucidating appeal for health system reform and a return to patient-centered medical care.




An overview of the complications plaguing an increasingly “by-the-numbers” American health care system provides some possible solutions.

A former physician–turned–health care executive, Fischer-Wright (Tribal Leadership, 2008) examines the imbalance between the business-minded side of medical treatment and the critical, compassionate, humane part (dubbed the “art of medicine”) that she believes “is on life support” these days. While these separate components are important, she stresses, a balance needs to be struck in order for each to be mutually beneficial. The author offers a smoothly written combination of personal and clinical anecdotes, some hitting very close to home, as in her descriptions of her father’s stroke and her husband’s kidney stones. She also adds relevant case notes and intelligent deliberation on how the health care industry should be radically reformed. As a doctor, Fischer-Wright always considered “things like compassion and empathy and effective care that produces good results to be the key to patient satisfaction,” yet her book begins with a chapter on the hospital gown and how medical environment administrators have been attempting to redesign and overhaul the inexpensive apparel to make it more user-friendly and comfortable. The author concurs with the difference it might make to the patient experience yet believes there are much more important ways to improve health care in America. She considers the deterioration of the doctor-patient relationship and its foundation of trust as a key concern. In order to rebuild this component, a paradigm shift must occur away from prioritizing science and business toward patients and the delivery of compassionate, personalized, and humane medical care. Fischer-Wright effectively adopts many different perspectives to demonstrate that the issues facing health care don’t just stem from one source, but from a collective of financial, political, social, and scientific territories. To encompass all demographics of her readership (from young medical students to veteran clinical professionals to the simply curious) in this timely, astute, and pivotal discussion, the author describes the serpentine chronology of a typical medical claim. She makes great use of pop culture, tying together Marcus Welby, M.D. and Star Trek references and Converse high top sneakers and the novels of Michael Crichton. She also employs a keen sense of humor throughout, which keeps the narrative grounded yet accessible and flexible, and concludes with a smart, multipronged strategy that “truly moves American health care in a new direction—one that puts the needs of people at the center of the industry again.” While acknowledging that there are no quick fixes, the author encourages readers to educate themselves and their loved ones on insurance, procedures, personal maintenance, and the myriad pathways of health care. With small, incremental steps forward, she believes true progress will be made toward improving patient-physician relationships, refocusing on personalizing care, and accessing the kind of world-class clinical treatment everyone deserves.

A motivational and elucidating appeal for health system reform and a return to patient-centered medical care.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63331-014-8

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Disruption Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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