The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise Of A Sovereign Profession And The Making Of A Vast Industry
I have divided this history into two books to emphasize two long movements in the development of american medicine: First, the rise of professional sovereignty, and second, the transformation of medicine into an industry and the growing, though still unsettled, role of corporations and the state. Within this framework i explore a variety of specific questions, such as: Why americans, who were wary of medical authority in the early and mid-nineteenth century, became devoted to it in the twentieth; Why hospitals, medical schools, clinics, and other organizations assumed distinctive institutional forms in the united states; Why there is no national health insurance in the united states; Why the federal government in recent years shifted form policies that encouraged growth without changes in the organization of medical care to policies that encouraged reorganiza- tion to control growth; Why physicians long escaped form the control of the modern corporation, but are now witnessing and indeed taking part in the creation of corporate health care systems.
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I had to read this for my Health Law class. It was *excellent*. Anyone interested on how we got from there to here in the medical mess that we call health insurance, it's a must read. My only ... Read full review
"The dream of reason did not take power into account"—so begins this Pulitzer Prizewinning portrait of the development of the U.S. health-care system. Paul Starr, a sociology and public-affairs professor at Princeton University, tells the story in two parts. First, the rise of the medical profession through the 19th and early 20th centuries is shown to hinge on an unprecedented "cultural authority" derived from the legitimacy of science. It was this authority that enabled doctors to build a prosperous profession and to shape the medical system. In the second half of the book, Starr focuses on the ways in which for-profit corporations, such as insurance companies and hospitals, challenged the medical authority of doctors in the later decades of the 20th century, producing the health-care system—much criticized yet much envied—that the U.S. has today. - 8 Oct 2008 - The Wall Street Journal Europe - By Stephanie Snow - Just What the Doctor Ordered - 5 best books on Medicine