The basic idea for this book came from discussions with fellow doctors and nurses. Many emphatically stated that they would avoid hospitalization at all costs. If it were absolutely necessary, they would use their knowledge of the system to protect their families and themselves. This book will allow you to share the insiders view of the system as well as prepare you to participate in the hospital experience, develop allies, and win the battle over illness. The clinical tales of interactions are slices from our professional lives and are important illustrations of the core beliefs of the book, the absolute necessity for patients and families to have meaningful, knowledgeable interactions with those who care for them. This is our personal view of hospital health care with its strengths and weaknesses.