Book Review: The Hospitalist

This is a quick review of The Hospitalist, by Michael Weisberg, MD. It has absolutely nothing to do with nursing except for a few extremely unflattering nursing characters; its main focus is to show how the field of medicine has drastically changed, and not for the better.

The book has a jerky start, beginning with seemingly unrelated vignettes. Eventually the plots all tie together, and the reader can see more clearly how today's medical system fails patients and doctors alike.

It is a dark, depressing account of how physicians today are of necessity driven to consider money and possible litigation far ahead of patient care, and it shows how physicians fall in to the pits of mental illness and substance use.

I think that although the book is amateurishly written and goes off the rails a bit (e.g., a talking decapitated head rolling down a driveway), it succeeds admirably at showing, rather than telling, readers about the hospital healthcare system in the US today.

I would recommend it the most to people considering a career in medicine. This is the world they will practice in. Physicians may find their own experiences validated, and nurses will probably develop a bit more of an understanding about how our colleagues are forced to practice.