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Can Medicine Be Cured?: The Corruption of a Profession

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  18 reviews

A fierce, honest, elegant and often hilarious debunking of the great fallacies that drive modern medicine.

'A deeply fascinating and rousing book' Mail on Sunday.

'What makes this book a delightful, if unsettling read, is not just O'Mahony's scholarly and witty prose, but also his brutal honesty' The Times.

Seamus O'Mahony writes about the illusion of progress, the notio

Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Apollo
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Richard Smith
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've written a long blog on this for the BMJ. It's the most important critique of modern medicine since Ivan Illich--and, perhaps paradoxically, a joy to read. Often funny.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this in less than three hours, after a long weekend in which I suffered the gamut of stress-induced psychosomatic symptoms from a failed attempt to contribute to the very toxic academic-medicine pony-mill O'Mahony eviscerates in this book. The chapters on the inherent emptiness and lack of true scientific rigour in medical research were balm to my weary soul. I like to think that even if I had been less personally upset by it while reading I would still be able to appreciate the justice i ...more
Paul Snelling
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Not quite Illych or skrabanek, and more polemic than analytical, this thoughtful book by a physician nearing the end of his career nevertheless manages to be both informative and entertaining. Nothing new but he rails against the industrial medical complex effectively, and there’s plenty in here to provoke more detailed analysis for converts of which I hope that there are many.
Steven Senior
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
It would be very easy to dismiss this book as a rant from a jaded clinician close to the end of his medical career. Because that's what this is. Despite this, in lashing out in all directions - at medical research, at medical humanities, at pharmaceutical companies, patient groups, and hospital managers, the author occasionally strikes some valid targets. His attack on medical research is valid and should be read and thought about by funders and researchers alike.

Unfortunately, the book is larg
Josh Evans
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
The ideas in this book are very thought provoking and it's all described in a very readable and at times funny way. It discusses many of the underlying assumptions in the NHS, things like the concept of 'excess deaths', market forces, 'communication skills' and a small but very interesting bit on why overuse of the sepsis six bundle will lead to higher rates of people catching sepsis in the long run.
I docked a star for chapter 9 though, an absolute mess of a chapter which barely fits the rest of
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Can Medicine Be Cured by Seamus O'Mahony - really appreciated listening to this although I'd suggest you read the physical copy rather than the audiobook! This is a meticulous critique of medical care in the western world and its approach in modern society, how it's kind of lost the run of itself.

As someone who knows very little about healthcare practices, bits of this book may have gone over my head but, moral of the story, we need to use what we have to make the world as it is a better place
Patricia Foley
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A compelling book; humerous and bleak in equal measure. I'm not an academic or a doctor but I grew up with and then worked in the NHS at the close of the 'golden years'. I witnessed the effects of 10 years of Conservative public policy on the service.
The NHS was never free, except to the unemployed. We contributed to the national insurance fund on top of our regular taxes. 9% as I remember, of an already meagre nurses' salary. I laughed heartily at the radio announcement that today is Lyme Dise
Martyn Carter
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For someone of a similar age and also a doctor and also a gastroenterologist, it’s perhaps not surprising that this book was pretty much a revelation. The author seemed to say everything I have been thinking for years. Brutally honest and withering critique of the state of modern medicine which is a must read for any one involved in healthcare but also for the wider world. Indeed, while this may simply articulate my own frustrations and beliefs regarding medicine, maybe if a few politicians, med ...more
Richard F
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Seamus O'Mahony offers a scathing analysis of our current approach to medical care and the enormous cost of achieving minimal returns.

The opening paragraph of the epilogue is a fitting summary of his entire argument:

"During the golden age, medical science gained huge prestige, and human life and death became medicalized. Despite its global dominance, the medical-industrial complex has given us meagre, feeble comforts at vast expense. Its chief concern is its own survival and continued dominance
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health, medicine
This book is the highly necessary follow-up to Ivan Illich's Medical Nemesis:the expropriation of health, which is a classic on how Western medicine derailed completely. Illich saw it clearer than most and well before most of the world woke up about it.

OḾahony now fills in the picture based on his own medical career, and the outcome is stunning. We cannot begin to fix the healthcare system before we understand what is wrong with it.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
The authors’ thesis is powerful and eloquent set out in the epilogue. The strident, curmudgeonly tone undermines the impact much of his argument. Much of the detail is recycled and will be known to many of the readers who pick this up. Some of the direct experiences recounted are powerful, but there is too much lazy anecdote. The core of this would make a riveting lecture. A shame this didn’t receive more careful, thoughtful editing: it would have made for a much better book.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just the medicine that medicine needs

This book should be required reading for every medical student. For some time I have felt that medicine has lost its way and its only guiding ethos now is productivity. This book tells what went wrong.
Ling Chiam
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A scathing analysis of the state of Medicine in contemporary society.
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Utterly brilliant. If you’re a doctor, just read it.
Dr Mark
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Reading for a doctor. It tells some truths that we all need to appreciate. Thought provoking and erudite. Thank you.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Passionate. Unflinching. Clear-sighted. Loved it.
Thomas Richards
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Doesn't beat around the bush! An honest and informative look at a healthcare system in dire need of reform.
Eithne  Murray
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit of an eye opener. A shocker really to hear how the notion of evidence based medicine has been debased, solely for commercial reasons.
He made a big point of disparaging clinical use of flow charts and algorithms, on the basis it takes the individuality of the patient out of the case.
His concerns leave the lay reader with plenty of food for thought.
However I am not sure he's informed enough about neuroscience to be so dismissive of the use of fMRI.
He was also disparaging of doctors who en
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