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Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America
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Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  82 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
At a time when access to health care in the United States is being widely debated, Nortin Hadler argues that an even more important issue is being overlooked. Although necessary health care should be available to all who need it, he says, the current health-care debate assumes that everyone requires massive amounts of expensive care to stay healthy. Hadler urges that befor ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by University of North Carolina Press
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Mar 19, 2009 Lena rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, medical
Nortin Hadler is a rheumatologist with a mission. That mission is to overhaul the US healthcare system to eliminate "Type II Medical Malpractice." If Type I Medical Malpractice is doctors doing their job poorly, Type II is doctors doing their job unnecessarily. According to Hadler, unnecessary medical procedures are at the root of many of our health care woes.

His stated goal in writing this book is to educate patients about what science really says regarding the effectiveness of many common proc
Kamil Salamah
Mar 13, 2012 Kamil Salamah rated it it was amazing
As a practicing Consultant General Surgeon, I have not come across any such writing on the subject in such detail. I have been touched deeply reflecting on how I and my colleagues have practiced: quoting studies, reviews, articles, editorials, etc to defend what we do and subscribe to our patients.

Knowing some of the historical Type I and Type II malpractices that occur daily, knowing the false claims of the Pharmaceutical studies, knowing the major forces of power at play for the precious doll
Christina Jain
Sep 12, 2015 Christina Jain rated it did not like it
Hadler strives to show where doctors in various fields continue to prescribe treatments that have been proven to be ineffective because we live in a society that expects, or even requests treatment when none is needed. But his book is one tiresome tirade, written in verbose language --and I typically enjoy picking up new vocabulary from reading!-- with a bellicose slant that nearly discredits him entirely. Hadler seems to go on and on and on, even though each topic is fairly short. It was a stru ...more
Apr 04, 2016 Chel rated it really liked it
This book is fascinating, troubling, and very abstruse. I have 3 college degrees, including a B.S.N., and I've taken several statistics courses, but I found it very difficult to follow the parts where he is objecting to generally accepted interpretations of medical research. Each chapter has a "shadow chapter" of supplementary material to back up his claims. I assume the purpose of this was to keep the main text itself from being too dense, but parts of it are nonetheless quite dense.

Jan 27, 2009 Monte rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-health
At a time when access to health care in the United States is being widely debated, Nortin Hadler argues that an even more important issue is being overlooked. Although necessary health care should be available to all who need it, he says, the current health-care debate assumes that everyone requires massive amounts of expensive care to stay healthy. Hadler urges that before we commit to paying for whatever pharmaceutical companies and the medical establishment tell us we need, American consumers ...more
Jul 24, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it
Currently reading. In short, a book about conscious choice and a our culture becoming "medicalized." An eye-opening look at the abuse of particular treatments, medical testing,and public dependancy on what pharm companies and the medical community tell us we need. Everyone needs to read this. Can get dull at times but very informative.
Nov 30, 2013 Sally rated it really liked it
Shelves: medicine
Covers the same ground as "The Last Well Person," with updated data from studies. Don't read both books, since some of the material is exactly the same - word for word - in this second book. The earlier book is a bit more conversational, this one is more focused on the health care debate.
Mar 23, 2011 Martha rated it liked it
Shelves: science, non-fic
Difficult for me to read - sometimes a bit too scientific for a science-phobe like me, but overall a fascinating look at many of the "best practices" of modern medicine, and how they differ from what is objectively known.
Mar 23, 2009 Jillian rated it liked it
This book makes a lot of good points about the problems with our current healthcare system.
May 26, 2012 Feck rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
These first few chapters are VERY difficult to get through. EGADS, why use 8 words when you can use 1? It's such an important message and such a terrible read. Let's hope I can get through it!
Jun 11, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
Eye opening views into modern medicine. I wouldn't have a surgery of any sort without researching the outcomes on my own. Hospitals are set up as profit centers instead of healing centers. Nortin's book takes an insightful look at what is happening inside the sterile walls.

P17 Coranary artery bypass graft, angioplasty, stents, stents coated with drugs. In sum, none work, but doctors keep trying to make it work. Cardiologist and cardiac surgens still have this bee in their bonnet. They talk abou
Nov 15, 2013 Kali rated it did not like it
dude needs to:
1) maybe get a good massage
2) work on his "layman" tone. maybe just his tone? words he loves: fatuous (he says this soo much!), nonagerian (i'd never heard this one before, it means person in their 90's), octogenarians (you guessed in, person in their 80's). really?
3) check himself before he wrecks himself

memorable quotes
*page 143: "After all, it would not have been far-fetched to have constructed sociocultural models for the pathogenesis of pulmonary tuberculosis and AIDS were it
Cym Lowell
Jan 31, 2010 Cym Lowell rated it really liked it
This tome on the over-treated, over diagnosed, over drugged world of America is interesting. The author’s premise is that we are beset with rampant Type II Medical Malpractice – the performance of unnecessary testing, diagnosing, and prescribing. He seems to perceive that we are, as a culture, drug addicts of the first order, responding to the programmed prescription of pharmaceuticals by doctors who mindlessly follow the lead of drug companies and studies financed by the same folks. In the cour ...more

I had difficulty rating this book because on the one hand, it delivers some pertinent information about the misconceptions of many common diagnoses and treatments as well as their validity (such as heart bypass surgery and angioplasty, cholesterol screening, mammography and colonoscopy), but on the other hand, it is not consistently thorough in its research methodology. Dr. Hadler
Nov 26, 2016 Marie rated it it was ok
Shelves: medical
This is a book of regurgitation of medical statistics. Blech. Hadler grumpily drones on and on about one scientific study after another possibly using a thesaurus that specializes in obscure, little known words in the English language.

I found it interesting that his assertion that the most common source of 'regional low back pain' is one's inability to cope with your work or home life and yet, when was the last time any doctor took the time to take into account your lifestyle choices, coping me
Oct 26, 2008 Nancy rated it liked it
In some ways this is a really good book. Dr. Hadler provides information you don't see in other places about the marginal health benefits we derive from many of the tests and drugs that are recommended to us.

One good point that comes through is that companies who develop a drug desire to find "benefit" such that half the population will "need" the drug. It is a good idea to get on the internet and read about the studies that proved the benefit of any drug prescribed for you. I did that a few ye
Sep 16, 2009 Danielle rated it it was ok
In this book, Hadler explains in a very snooty tone how conventional medical wisdom is totally wrong, and how doctors are intent on overtreating you to death. Maybe not an insane premise, and especially timely with today's healthcare debate, but I couldn't get past his tone. It was like he was completely astonished that you (the reader) could have been so stupid as to believe the advice of doctors. Seriously, what's wrong with you? And he just states his opinions as irrefutable facts, condemning ...more
Irene B.
Mar 12, 2012 Irene B. rated it really liked it
Recommended to Irene by: Wash Post reviewed newest book
This book sums up what I've been thinking about how going to the doctor (unless its a specific crisis) makes you more sick and how often medical tests have caused me more problems when actually nothing was wrong with me in the first place. The author shows how all the research regarding testing and medications are actually statistical numbers games and not in the patient's best interests at all. No wonder I feel much better when I don't do what the doctors say to do! They are just in league with ...more
Oct 16, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
This is for the audio version. The information in this book would benefit the general public but the book is a challenge with its technical terminology and focus on research statistical results. One is also left with the impression that the author is greatly weighed towards traditional medicine and less focused on complementary or alternative approaches that are gaining in popularity. However, the author raises excellent points about the overall efficacy of treatments or medical interventions th ...more
Presents the point of view that many medical tests are unnecessary and a lot of treatment is unnecessary. His viewpoint coincides with mine to some extent that I favor minimal treatment. I sometimes felt when reading it that he does not give the medical establishment as much credit as it deserves for the advances it has made. I feel that he could have done more to make the book accessible to a non-medical audience as he uses a lot of medical terminology and analyses of medical studies with which ...more
Aug 13, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, health
Well-written, thoughtful, passionate and persuasive. The author breaks ranks with many in his profession and offers viewpoints that are worthy of serious consideration both by individuals seeking optimal healthcare for themselves and for concerned citizens who care about addressing the flaws on our system. Hadler's descriptions of Americans' cultural constructs around concepts of health and illness are fascinating. Highly recommended for fans of The Spirit Level and Crazy Like Us, both of which ...more
Mar 23, 2009 Liz rated it it was ok
I didn't finish the entire book because it was difficult for me to read... it is awfully technical at parts and I just never had the brainpower to get through it. BUT I tend to agree with the basic underlying assumption that we over-treat and under-care, and that we're all basically going to die around 85 anyways, so why do we put so much time, energy, and money into prolonging our lives for 1-5 years, especially at the expense of our quality of life?
The most important book I've read for a long time.
Gianfranco Ruffini
Jun 22, 2016 Gianfranco Ruffini rated it it was amazing
201505.a.riassunto w.
Contrario aiutate procedure mediche ufficiali.
Jun 18, 2009 Judith added it
Difficult scholarly style, but the information is extremely interesting. Read this if you have a chance, especially if you are a baby boomer or older. Wish the print had been a little larger.
Aug 18, 2008 Erin rated it it was amazing
Everyone needs to read this!
Christine Brown
Christine Brown rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2014
Luiz Rens
Luiz Rens rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2012
Jack Jacobson
Jack Jacobson rated it really liked it
May 18, 2011
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