The Bottom Line: A Layman's Guide to Medicine

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9780875864556: The Bottom Line: A Layman's Guide to Medicine

Medical errors are responsible for at least 195,000 unnecessary deaths each year and indiscriminate use of antibiotics has resulted in the creation of drug resistant-bacteria - we are in the "post-antibiotic era" for certain diseases. Yet hope remains. The baby boomers' distrust of authority and "experts" may once again serve them well. They are still healthy enough to have many years of quality life ahead of them, if they are proactive. Unfortunately, even educated laymen have little understanding of medical treatment and often have no choice but to follow the physician's guidance. This book is written to fill that void. Its sole purpose is to focus on documented outcomes from medical therapy. Books explaining disease processes and treatments are commonplace. Usually the only real difference is the author is a famous physician or celebrity, or the author is promoting a trendy new "discovery." This book is written from a totally different perspective. About six years ago while working in the medical intensive care unit of a regional medical center, I became disillusioned because my patients continued to die or to have poor medical outcomes despite aggressive advanced medical care. My research training significantly influences my thought processes; I I reasoned that if my patients were dying despite our efforts, then perhaps the care they were receiving was not really as "advanced" as we thought. I asked my chief physician if there were any books available discussing patient outcomes. "No," he said. "Insurance companies keep that information locked up." The information does exist, but it is scattered throughout the medical literature. Here, I have attempted to consolidate it into one source and simplify it as much as possible so that you can make truly informed decisions. Richard Stanzak is a critical care nurse. He also worked as a molecular biologist for fourteen years, seven of them for Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals in both research and development. As a traveling ICU nurse he has been employed at 19 different assignments. He has worked in major trauma units, transplant units, cardiac units and hospitals from 1150 beds to 8 beds. He has experienced first-hand the problems of healthcare and can certainly attest this is a national problem. Stanzak is the author and/or co-author of several papers and also has several patents. He is the lead author of a benchmark paper on the cloning of genes responsible for the production of erythromycin. He was engaged in research at Eli Lilly when Prozac was first discovered and Genentech first licensed the insulin gene to Lilly. As a critical care nurse, he is responsible for providing teaching to patients or families about drugs, diseases and procedures.

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Review:

This well-researched work gathers current information to present the "cons" of current medical practices, using evidence-based medicine. Stanzak has many years of experience as a critical care nurse, has authored several papers, and has filed two patents. He intends this book to connect readers with information about the field of medicine and how it affects people's health. The author discusses controversies such as the use of antibiotics; nurse shortages; costs of medical care; malpractice; and the use of nonmedical interventions, including nutrition and exercise. Written for the general public, this well-presented volume provides a multitude of current references to support the content and encourage further reading. An expanded table of contents allows easy location of desired information. Although numerous graphs and figures support the text, some labels are slightly blurred. Bottom Line Medicine offers a look at medical practice from the patient's point of view, making this book relatively unusual. Comprehensive and detailed index.
Summing Up: Recommended. Public, medical, and academic libraries; all levels. --Choice Magazine, B. C. Thomsett-Scott, University of North Texas

Stanzak, a molecular biologist turned critical care nurse, asks if the term "medical science" is an oxymoron. After years of seeing patients die or have poor medical outcomes despite aggressive and advanced medical care, Stanzak began to question whether that medical care was all that advanced. Here he explains to those who are undergoing that medical care, or whose common sense informs them they will eventually undergo it, that they need not be included in the estimated 250,000 unnecessary deaths of those in care. He gives reasons for exercising due caution and retaining empowerment as he describes how doctors get their information on care, how drug companies must operate to remain profitable, poisons in prescribed drugs, invented diseases, medical malfeasance, antibiotic-proof bugs and defensive medicine lead to marginal benefits, if any, of treatment and a decided avoidance of disease prevention through diet, lifestyle and social factors. --Booknews

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