THE LIFE YOU SAVE by Lewis Miller


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A former editor of Medical Economics and Patient Care, Miller writes objectively, without the elbow-steering zeal of a consumer advocate or the protective pomposity of a hospital chief of staff. Instead, he characterizes the issues fairly, distinguishing real from unreal expectations, using vital statistics only when appropriate. In a single volume, he specifies criteria for choosing doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, health-care policies--a wide array of related subjects, and although he can't explore each in depth, he does provide solid foundations for general reference. He includes many approaches for finding a doctor, evaluates the training and reliability of non-M.D.'s and paraprofessionals, discusses the importance of giving a complete history and asking the right questions (about alternatives, urgency, risks), even suggests reasonable waiting times for office visits (15-30 minutes) and ways to question sky-high fees. Not all of the advice is equally helpful: he prefers health policies that cover psychiatrist office visits but fails to mention how few do or to acknowledge that most people, relying on company policies, have no choice, and he gives short shrift to the individual's responsibility for good health habits. But the quibbles are few, for Miller concentrates on essentials and bypasses tangential aspects.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1979
Publisher: Morrow