Less Medicine, More Health

Hardcover $24.95

Beacon Press | Mar 03, 2015 | 240 Pages | 6 x 9 | ISBN 9780807071649

  • Hardcover$24.95

    Beacon Press | Mar 03, 2015 | 240 Pages | 6 x 9 | ISBN 9780807071649

  • Ebook$24.95

    Beacon Press | Mar 03, 2015 | 240 Pages | 6 x 9 | ISBN 9780807071656

Praise

“Avoiding medical jargon, Welch speaks directly to the layperson and focuses on certain assumptions that have increased consumption in a market-driven society; some of which have become so ingrained by popular media that refuting them seems downright scandalous… Welch’s words, though wise beyond money, border on sacrilege in a country of generally healthy people who have developed an expensive health-care habit and who are expected to support a lucrative health-care industry. Welch’s conversational style makes his prescription for better health an easy pill to swallow.” 
Booklist, starred review

“A bright, lively discussion of the excesses of medical care to which patients often unwittingly go due to certain false assumptions… Welch demonstrates the flaws in these assumptions. His stories involve the risks, uncertainties and harms of cancer screenings, treatments for heart disease, drugs, medical devices and surgical procedures. He makes an especially strong case for the risks of mass screenings for cancer—the fear, the false alarms, the overdiagnoses and the resulting overtreatments. Vivid images make what could be discouragingly technical quite understandable… Welch’s engaging style and touches of humor make this an easy read, and the facts he presents make a convincing case.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Read this book. It is smart, witty, wonderfully written, and above all wise. We’ve overmedicalized life and yet we need medicine throughout our lives. No one explains better when we do, when we don’t, and why.”
—Atul Gawande, author of Complications and Being Mortal

“Wise, witty, fascinating and alarmingly persuasive—this is a book everyone should read, especially my doctor.”
—Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Nearly Everything

“With the style of a trustworthy country doctor, Welch, an academic heavyweight, urges us to reject the allure of reducing all health risks by using the latest technology to gather all the data and to fix the problems sooner rather than later. Showing the dangers of our ill-informed enthusiasm for medicine, he brilliantly builds the case for respecting its power and limitations: to seek it when ill and all but avoid it when healthy.”
—Victor M. Montori, MD, Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic

“Gil Welch’s latest book shows us exactly how too much medical care can be harmful and even deadly.  This is a needed corrective to the American attitude that the more screening and testing, the healthier we will be.”
—Marcia Angell, author of The Truth About Drug Companies

“Its title, ‘Less Medicine, More Health,’ sums up his trenchant, point-by-point critique of test-based health care and quality control.”
New York Times

Table Of Contents

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION: Our enthusiasm for everything medical ix

ASSUMPTION #1: ALL RISKS CAN BE LOWERED 1
Disturbing truth: Risks can’t always be lowered—and trying creates risks of its own

ASSUMPTION #2: IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO FIX THE PROBLEM 28
Disturbing truth: Trying to eliminate a problemcan be more dangerous than managing one

ASSUMPTION #3: SOONER IS ALWAYS BETTER 51
Disturbing truth: Early diagnosis can needlessly turn people into patients

ASSUMPTION #4: IT NEVER HURTS TO GET MORE INFORMATION 84
Disturbing truth: Data overload can scare patients and distract your doctor from what’s important

ASSUMPTION #5: ACTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN INACTION 117
Disturbing truth: Action is not reliably the “right” choice

ASSUMPTION #6: NEWER IS ALWAYS BETTER 139
Disturbing truth: New interventions are typically not well tested and oft en wind up being judged
ineffective (even harmful)


ASSUMPTION #7: IT’S ALL ABOUT AVOIDING DEATH 162
Disturbing truth: A fixation on preventing death diminishes life

CONCLUSION: Seeking medical care is not the most important thing you can do for your health 184

Acknowledgments 195
Notes 198
Index 211

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