THE DOCTORS by Martin L. Cross

THE DOCTORS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Martin Gross (The Brain Watchers) has provided a highly comminatory report on the doctors with an enthusiasm for documentation in their own words and from their professional literature (studies, reports, interviews). He goes through the body medical like eight ounces of castor oil. Since the book runs to more than 600 pages, it's hard to do a proper work-up in one paragraph. It covers everything they do and everything they don't do. In either case they're fallible. The arraignment begins with medical diagnosis and the shift to ""exotic hardware,"" the dehumanized but not necessarily more scientific approach, the failure to listen, to read and keep up, etc. Then there is life or rather death in the hospitals, dirt, infection, faulty laboratory work, fatal anesthesia, medication errors, and on. Moving to iatrogenic or doctor-caused diseases (doctors can even cause cancer) there's that unhappy one in five liability. Mr. Gross has statistics throughout-- frightening statistics. But then one is reminded of the old remark that statistics are like bikinis and are more important for what they conceal than what they reveal. And what about that ""vestigial"" g.p; or the internist who charges more but doesn't necessarily accomplish more or the pediatrician; the osteopath; or fees (the doctors are a venal bunch), education, malpractive. The informed reader will not be as surprised as Mr. Gross always assumes and sometimes he will be put off by loaded words. Gratuitous tonsillectomies are an ""orgy."" The doctor's image occasions another chapter; his prestige in diminishing even though his income is going up (and his IQ was only median-- 126--to begin with). This should contribute further since all of Mr. Gross' men in white come out tattletale grey. Two part Look appearance, major promotion, and Literary Guild alternate.

Publisher: Random House