Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Color of Atmosphere: One Doctor's Journey In and Out of Medicine

Here's an interesting book that you may want to read this summer: The Color of Atmosphere: One Doctor's Journey In and Out of Medicine

If the medical profession you'd devoted your life to was completely taken over by liability concerns and insurance regulations, would you stay a physician?

The Color of Atmosphere tells one doctor's story and the route of her medical career with warmth, humor, and above all, honesty. As we follow Maggie Kozel from her idealistic days as a devoted young pediatrician, through her Navy experience with universal health coverage, and on into the world of private practice, we see not only her reverence for medical science, and her compassion for her patients, but also the widening gap between what she was trained to do and what is eventually expected of her.

Her personal story plays out against the backdrop of our changing health-care system, and demonstrates the way our method of paying for health care has reached its way into the exam room, putting a stranglehold on how doctors practice, and profoundly influencing the doctor-patient relationship. The stories she shares illustrate the medical, economic, and moral complexities of US health care. To understand Dr. Kozel's ultimate decision to leave medicine is to better comprehend the disconnect between our considerable medical resources and how our health-care system falls short of delivering them.

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