Berger, whose earlier works (How to Be Your Own Nutritionist, 1987; The South-hampton Diet, 1982; etc.) tout the underappreciated concept of preventive nutrition, here critiques the entire American ""medical machine,"" detailing how patients and practitioners alike become ""victims of our institutionalized medical ignorance."" Common but elusive (""phantom"") diseases, including yeast infections, silent ischemia, and premenstrual syndrome, are explored in the bulk of the book. Medical schools, explains Berger, teach reactive (not preventive) medicine and instill overreliance on high-tech, interventionist care. The art of medicine has lost out to the science and--perhaps even more critically--to the economics of medicine. The result, he says, is rampant misdiagnosis and mistreatment. Berger aims to shock the reader out of ""medical passivity"" and to teach how, in cooperation with a doctor, to ""beat the system."" He is persuasive, if only by arguing that medicine is a human enterprise:""People screw up, confusion abounds, politics fester, neglect occurs, greed persists. Things are, in short, no different than a corporation--the stakes are just higher."" Clearly and conversationally, Berger discusses the oft-maligned phantom diseases, featuring informative self-assessment guides, case histories, and (of course) dietary advice. Less useful is a section on the little understood link between mind and medicine. Patients who prefer to see physicians as all-knowing will ignore his advice--and likely suffer the consequences.