The book reveals a troubling situation, but unfortunately it’s a tedious read.



A dogged attempt to shed light on the troubling nexus between money and medicine through the story of two doctors in Redding, Calif., who generated enormous fees for themselves and for the Redding Medical Center by performing highly questionable procedures.

Journalist Klaidman, whose Saving the Heart (2000) looked at advances in fighting coronary disease, was not able to interview either cardiologist Chae Hyun Moon or cardiac surgeon Fidel Realyvasquez, the two doctors in question, but did talk to many of their patients, as well as nurses, technicians and other doctors, and he had access to extensive medical records and sworn depositions. These sources and his contacts with the lawyers involved provided a wealth of background information, but unfortunately the author gets so bogged down in it that what could be a gripping story of personal ambition, corporate greed and shattered lives is burdened by a morass of inconsequential details. Klaidman opens with an account of previous misdeeds by the corporation running the hospital, foreshadowing the iniquities to come, and he then plunges into the story of one patient who narrowly escapes unneeded heart surgery there. Others are not so lucky, and Klaidman has provided numerous chilling examples of the damage they suffered. Lawyers, FBI agents, federal prosecutors—all become involved, and the legal maneuverings go on for years, dividing the town of Redding into two camps. Groups one might expect to take action—Medicare, Medicaid, the state medical board and medical society—do not. The ending is rather a letdown: There are no criminal prosecutions, no trials that might have been revealing; however, the doctors and the hospital do agree to pay large settlements. Drs. Moon and Realyvasquez are no longer practicing medicine, but, as Klaidman points out, the policies this hospital and other for-profit hospitals may conjure up in the future bears watching.

The book reveals a troubling situation, but unfortunately it’s a tedious read.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2007

ISBN: 0-7432-6754-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?


From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?