As the future of the private doctor/patient relationship comes into question, "Do We Still Need Doctors?" offers an intimate look at doctors' shifting roles and responsibilities in our rapidly changing health care system. Now in paperback, this poignant and compassionate personal account, which has received widespread media attention, including "Oprah, " offers an intimate look at how today's doctors are dealing with the ethical and political battles that are reshaping our nation's health care system.
Weaving affecting stories of his young patients with stirring dilemmas of truth telling, creative negotiation of HMO bureaucracy, and reflections on the identity crisis of medical education, pediatrician Dr. Lantos-a member of the Clinton Administration's Presidential Task Force on Health Care Reform-reveals how changes in our health care system and technological advances are fostering new ways of understanding and responding to illness. He taps into the public's dissatisfaction with the current role doctors and hospitals play in patient care and presents balanced views of both managed care and for-profit medicine. Most importantly, Dr. Lantos reveals how managed care continues a trend toward rationalizing disease and streamlining treatment that doctors themselves have initiated and sustained for decades. Illness and death will always resist rationalizing, and in order to respond to them, he claims doctors and patients alike need to re-imagine what healing is or ought to be.