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Narrative Matters, second edition

Writing to Change the Health Care System

Edited by Jessica Bylander
Health care decision making affects patients and families first and foremost, yet their perspectives are not always factored into health policy deliberations and discussions. In this anthology, Jessica Bylander brings together the personal stories of the patients, physicians, caregivers, policy makers, and others whose writings add much-needed human context to health care decision making.

Drawn from the popular "Narrative Matters" column in the leading health policy journal Health Affairs, this collection features essays by some of the leading minds in health care today, including Pulitzer Prize–winner Siddhartha Mukherjee, MacArthur fellow Diane Meier, former Planned Parenthood president Leana S. Wen, and former secretary of health and human services Louis W. Sullivan. The collection also presents important stories from lesser-known voices, including a transgender doctor in Oklahoma who calls for better treatment of trans patients and a palliative care physician who reflects on how perspectives on hastening death have changed in recent years. A foreword written by National Humanities Medal recipient Abraham Verghese, MD, further rounds out the book.

The collection of thirty-two essays is organized around several themes:

•the practice of medicine
•medical innovation and research
•patient-centered care
•the doctor-patient relationship
•disparities and discrimination
•aging and end-of-life care
•maternity and childbirth
•opioids and substance abuse

Contributors: Louise Aronson, Laura Arrowsmith, Cheryl Bettigole, Cindy Brach, Gary Epstein-Lubow, Jonathan Friedlaender, Patricia Gabow, Katti Gray, Yasmin Sokkar Harker, Timothy Hoff, Carla Keirns, Raya Elfadel Kheirbek, Katy B. Kozhimannil, Pooja Lagisetty, Maria Maldonado, Maureen A. Mavrinac, Diane E. Meier, Dina Keller Moss, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Donna Jackson Nakazawa, Travis N. Rieder, Aroonsiri Sangarlangkarn, Elaine Schattner, Janice Lynch Schuster, Myrick C. Shinall, Gayathri Subramanian, Louis W. Sullivan, Gautham K. Suresh, Abraham Verghese, Otis Warren, Leana S. Wen, Charlotte Yeh

About the Author

Jessica Bylander is a senior editor at Health Affairs and the editor of "Narrative Matters."

Reviews

"This compilation is unique . . . because of its strong relevance to today's health policy . . . These narratives matter."—JAMA, reviewing a previous edition

"Very helpful . . . An essential library volume."—Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, reviewing a previous edition

"This volume is relevant to researchers, clinicians, and health care policy makers, and I recommend it highly."—American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, reviewing a previous edition

"To begin to understand the many challenges facing the US health care system, you could spend years in the shadow of doctors, patients, medical students, and legislators. Or you could just read this book. Narrative Matters opens a window into what's happening in American medicine through the minds and pens of those in the middle of it all. At times insightful, depressing, uplifting, and direct, Narrative Matters accomplishes a rare feat—a book as well-written as it is necessary."—Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, author of The Public Health Crisis Survival Guide: Leadership and Management in Trying Times, reviewing a previous edition

"Narrative Matters showcases some of health care's most stunning writing. The stories are moving, eloquent, and often unforgettable."—Atul Gawande, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, author of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, reviewing a previous edition

"For any reader enthralled by the literature of medicine, these fascinating, compelling, and beautifully written doctor stories were written expressly for you."—Howard Markel, MD, PhD, The University of Michigan Medical School, author of When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America and the Fears They Have Unleashed, reviewing a previous edition

"Narrative does matter. That's why these writers are so successful in making the reader feel and respond to their frustration, anger, pain, sadness, confusion, joy, or loving kindness by writing personal narratives of health care. Had they addressed us on a purely intellectual level, we might have developed a clearer idea about how to create a more equitable health care system, but we'd have less motivation, less passion, for the task. Narrative Matters is a splendid achievement. This wonderful collection will make a big difference in the way the reader thinks about many of the important issues facing health care today. I suspect this book will do a great deal to enhance public awareness of the human stories at the center of our US health care system."—Jack Coulehan, MD, MPH, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, coeditor of Primary Care: More Poems by Physicians, reviewing a previous edition

"A doctor kneels on a highway and watches a child die from a completely preventable accident, as the boy's father wails, 'Wake up, my son!' A baby dies because of language barriers and bureaucracy in the clinic. A nurse quits in despair, stopped by the system from doing the right thing. A governor makes a wrenching choice between a world-class transplant program and basic care for 600,000 people. If these true stories of needless tragedy don't convince you our health care system is broken, you must have a heart of stone."—Melvin J. Konner, PhD, MD, Emory University, author of Becoming a Doctor: A Journey of Initiation in Medical School, reviewing a previous edition

"Narrative Matters shows how health care policies affect real people. Policy loves charts and statistics. These stories fill in the conflicts, the emotions, the frequent pain and occasional joys of being somewhere on one of those charts. Numbers make no moral demands on us; only faces require a response. In these stories, we see the faces that health care policy is all about."—Arthur W. Frank, PhD, University of Calgary, author of The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics, reviewing a previous edition

The Johns Hopkins University Press
second edition

 

9781421437521 : narrative-matters-2nd-edition-bylander
Hardback
328 Pages
$77.00 USD
9781421437545 : narrative-matters-2nd-edition-bylander
Paperback / softback
328 Pages
$30.00 USD
9781421437552 : narrative-matters-2nd-edition-bylander
Electronic book text
328 Pages
$30.00 USD

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