Good Reads

The Care of the Patient   Francis W. Peabody, 1927

This seminal paper is an exquisite exposition of the importance of the doctor-patient relationship in the art of medicine – in particular with the challenge of medically unexplained symptoms. As relevant today as it ever was!

In defence of a National Sickness Service  Iona Heath, 2007

Iona argues that the National Health Service is  actually a National Sickness Service – and rightly so, lest society falls down on its responsibility to the most needy.  In so doing, she explains why societal change is far more important for wellbeing than healthcare.  These concepts are crucial.

The Patient Paradox  Margaret McCartney, 2012

Margaret McCartney’s book explores a paradox in modern medicine that is so ubiquitous, so widely accepted, that we have failed to question whether or not it is good for our society.

The paradox in question is this: If you are unwell you are expected to wiat for your healthcare – there are delays in getting an appointment, waiting times for referrals and waiting lists for operations. You may have to fight to get help with your symptoms, or struggle to get care for your health needs. By contrast, if you are well you may be inundated with invitations to attend health screening, given appointments for health problems you did not know you might have, and chastised for failing to attend. Think there’s something not quite right here? Get the book to find out more!

Intelligent Kindness: reforming the culture of healthcare  John Ballatt & Penelope Campling, 2o11

Overdiagnosed: making people sick, in the pursuit of health  H. Gilbert Welch, Lisa Schwartz, Steven Woloshin, 2012

The Health of Nations  Gavin Mooney, 2012

The Political Economy of Health Care: A Clinical Perspective  Julian Tudor Hart, 2006

Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis – The Expropriation of Health  Ivan Illich, 2001

Further significant essays from Iona Heath:

The Mystery of General Practice 1995

‘A fragment of the explanation’: the use and abuse of words 2001

The medical care practitioner: Newspeak and the duping of the public 2004

Preventive health care in elderly people needs rethinking 2007

The Concept of Prevention. A Good Idea Gone Astray? 2007

The Therapeutic Relationship. Kings Fund 2010

The Harveian Oration: Divided We Fall 2011

International Futures Forum: Love’s Labours Lost 2012