Since the turn of the century, new developments in technology have forever changed the way patients experience health care. From highly advanced surgical robots to quick and convenient telemedicine apps, the practice of medicine has become significantly more efficient than before. Indeed, the average time a doctor spends with a patient has been cut down to less than 10 minutes.
Is this newfound efficiency leading to better health outcomes or lower costs for patients? Victoria Sweet, a veteran physician and acclaimed author, argues the opposite: that the drive for efficiency and the incorporation of new technology has actually changed American health care for the worse.
In her new book, Slow Medicine, Sweet boldly challenges the impersonal health care status quo, making the case that doctors must slow down, take the time to form connections with their patients, and carefully consider their patients’ circumstances until the right diagnoses and treatments can be determined. Drawing on historical research, interviews with health care professionals around the country and her own experience working at a hospital for the impoverished in San Francisco, Sweet dismantles conventional thought about the construction of the modern American health-care system.
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