"The current health care reform proposal is just a beginning," says Norman Makous, MD. "This legislation addresses health coverage reform. The problem that has not been touched in the current legislation relates to how we provide medical services.
COATESVILLE, PA - January 8, 2010 - "The current health care reform proposal is just a beginning," says Norman Makous, M.D., author of the new book, TIME TO CARE: PERSONAL MEDICINE IN THE AGE OF TECHNOLOGY. "This legislation addresses health coverage reform. The problem that has not been touched in the current legislation relates to how we provide medical services. What we need now is true medical care reform."
In TIME TO CARE, Dr. Makous proposes that the patient-doctor relationship be brought back to the center of the healthcare system. "This will improve quality, humanize treatment, and reduce unnecessary spending," he says. "TIME TO CARE is a must-read as the nation struggles with healthcare reform," said Joseph P. Sullivan, Chairman of the Board of Advisors, RAND Health. "His research, combined with fascinating personal experiences, makes this a lively read."
Based on Dr. Makous' sixty years of medical practice from the late 1940's into the early 21st Century, TIME TO CARE shows how medical practice has changed dramatically in recent decades. The book is filled with dozens of case anecdotes that illustrate the crucial role of the patient-doctor relationship in proper diagnosis and treatment.
"The author's commitment to and compassion for his patients reverberates throughout this book," said Dr. Herbert Fred, in his
recent review for the Texas Heart Institute Journal. "By using dozens of case anecdotes from his 60-year career as a personal-care cardiologist, he effectively illustrates how a strong patient-doctor relationship — the essence of personal medicine – brings joy and satisfaction to everyone involved."
In one case, for example, Dr. Makous found that the cause of Helen's recurrent hypertension was her habit of buying licorice daily in the Hospital's gift shop when she was on the way to visit her husband while he was a long-term patient there. She would then eat the whole package in the course of her visit. True licorice like that sold at the gift store contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that can cause hypertension when ingested in high enough quantities, as Helen was doing regularly. Dr. Makous diagnosed thisproblem only through his personal knowledge of the patient's daily life.
Today, the personal relationship between the patient and doctor has been almost completely displaced by technology. Frequently today, patients are subjected to the wrong tests and treatments, often very expensive procedures. Millions of dollars are spent on unnecessary tests and incorrect treatments. In TIME TO CARE, Dr. Makous points out that the high cost of technology-based care has caused the economic squeeze in healthcare that has already led to covert rationing of medical services. The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and the need for rationing will increase.
The personal relationship between patient and doctor that was central in traditional medicine can help prevent these problems. Having an independent primary care physician at the heart of the patient's medical care is a proven effective and ethical method of monitoring the care process. If the patient-doctor relationship is recognized as essential to our health system, the book explains, medical care will be humanized and unnecessary spending will be greatly reduced. "We will then have a society that is not only happier and healthier, but also more financially capable of affording broader coverage for a greater number of people."
ABOUT NORMAN MAKOUS, M.D.: Dr. Norman Makous spent sixty years providing personal care to his cardiology patients from the late 1940's into the early 21st Century. After extensive training and service in the Navy, he started private practice in Kansas City and moved to Philadelphia. He held appointments for many years on the faculties of both the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Thomas Jefferson Medical University. Dr. Makous has received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Heart Association of Pennsylvania, as well as many other awards. He also served on the boards of several government and health insurance advisory groups and is the author of many professional articles. His first book, The Road Taken: My Life and Times, was published by TowPath Publications in 2006.
ABOUT BRUCE MAKOUS, co-author: TIME TO CARE was written with the assistance of Bruce Makous, a published novelist and journalist. His novels include RIDING THE BRAND, Hilliard & Harris, 2004, which received coverage in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL because of its indictment of the venture capital industry for operating like organized crime. For eighteen years, Bruce has served on the editorial staff of BOULEVARD, the award-winning national literary magazine. Bruce is also a healthcare fundraiser noted in THE NONPROFIT TIMES as one of the most "Influential and Effective Fundraisers in the US for 2009." And is an enthusiastic supporter of the writing of his father. For more about his writing visit: www.brucemakous.com
TIME TO CARE: PERSONAL MEDICINE IN THE AGE OF TECHNOLOGY, Norman Makous, MD, with Bruce Makous. Philadelphia: TowPath Publications; 2009. US $14.95. ISBN 978-0-9776686-1-8. Format: Softcover book. 464 pages. Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches. Available through bookstores, Amazon.com, and from Publisher, PO Box 43522, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Website: http://normanmakous.com/
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