In this candid memoir, Sandeep Jauhar, a US physician, describes his experiences working as an attending cardiologist in a hospital in New York State. Unable to attain the financial security he needs from this position, he finds himself moonlighting in private practice. The book is an intensely personal and honest reflection on his life, family and financial affairs, but also an exposÃ© of the myriad shortcomings of the healthcare system in the United States.
The reader gets a first-hand account of the life of a doctor who finds himself increasingly unhappy, disillusioned, and trapped within the confines of the US fee-for-service system. We are introduced to a flawed system, where more tests (whether necessary or not) mean more money for the physician, and where reciprocal referrals and cronyism are the only way to get ahead. Jauhar weaves patient anecdotes with meticulously researched facts about his profession and the US healthcare system. It is a beautifully written and compelling account and, although obviously specific to the situation in the United States, the author makes it easy to empathise with his medical frustrations.
This book is just one man’s story and one doctor’s perspective, but it provides a fascinating and eye-opening read for anyone with an interest in global medicine and patient care.
‘Doctored: the disillusionment of an American physician’ by Sandeep Jauhar. Pp288 Price £17.99. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2014. ISBN 978 0 37414 1394