Random Acts of Medicine: The Hidden Forces That Sway Doctors, Impact Patients, and Shape Our Health
Does timing, circumstance, or luck impact your health care? This groundbreaking book reveals the hidden side of medicine and how unexpected—but predictable—events can profoundly affect our health. • Is there ever a good time to have a heart attack? Why do kids born in the summer get diagnosed more often with A.D.H.D.? How are marathons harmful for your health, even when you’re not running?
“Fantastically entertaining and deeply thought-provoking.” —Emily Oster, New York Times bestselling author of The Family Firm, Cribsheet, and Expecting Better
“Smart, entertaining, and full of surprises.” —Steven D. Levitt, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Freakonomics
As a University of Chicago–trained economist and Harvard medical school professor and doctor, Anupam Jena is uniquely equipped to answer these questions. And as a critical care doctor at Massachusetts General who researches health care policy, Christopher Worsham confronts their impact on the hospital’s sickest patients. In this singular work of science and medicine, Jena and Worsham show us how medicine really works, and its effect on all of us.
Relying on ingeniously devised natural experiments—random events that unknowingly turn us into experimental subjects—Jena and Worsham do more than offer readers colorful stories. They help us see the way our health is shaped by forces invisible to the untrained eye. Is there ever a good time to have a heart attack? Do you choose the veteran doctor or the rookie? Do you really need the surgery your doctor recommends? These questions are rife with significance; their impact can be life changing. Addressing them in a style that’s both animated and enlightening, Random Acts of Medicine empowers you to see past the white coat and find out what really makes medicine work—and how it could work better.