Foreword Reviews

The End of Healing

A powerful spotlight on the unseemly practices that pervade the American health-care industry, and a doctor’s loss of innocence.

In the muckraking style of Upton Sinclair, Dr. Jim Bailey has written a modern-day The Jungle, but it’s the health-care industry under the microscope in The End of Healing. Everything you never wanted to know about the skewed practices of health insurance, medicine for profit, and doctors who have lost sight of their healing mission come to bear in Bailey’s heavy-hitting fictionalized account of a story you know is happening this very minute in America.

Through the journey of medical resident turned doctor in doubt—and in debt—Dr. Don Newman, this story is about the end of Newman’s idealized view of medicine. He encounters dubious medical practices in teaching hospitals, surgeons who perform unnecessary procedures for the money, and the unethical marketing of the pharmaceutical industry. Can Newman stay in medicine amongst the corruption and find a fulfilling path for his altruistic, “do no harm” goals as a doctor? Has he buried himself too far in debt to pursue the noble path, instead bound to become another “cog in the wheel?” These are the questions that drive the story.

Using Dante Alighieri’s Inferno as a symbolic framework, Newman examines the truths he encounters along his wayward path into and through a graduate health-system science program. Bailey points a powerful searchlight on modern-day American medical practices, asking if we truly have the best approach to health care in the world. Are the needs of patients lost within the “more expensive must be better” mentality of excessive testing and diagnostic medicine? Why isn’t preventive care a viable alternative in an industry that seems to have lost sight of the goal to heal?

The End of Healing is an intense read that is full of disturbing anecdotes—not least among them Rosemary Kennedy’s infamous lobotomy. Engaging and informative, anyone seeking to journey down the rabbit hole to the not-so-fuzzy flip side will be fascinated, troubled, and overall better informed about health care as we know it in America.

Reviewed by Felicia Seeburger

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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