“The Cost Conundrum” by Atul Gawande brings an interesting perspective to health care. While the original article is from 2009, its relevance is brought forward in time by an opinion piece this past fall in the New York Times, offering a five year followup:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/24/opinion/a-health-care-success-story.html?_r=0.The Times opinion piece includes the claim that Atul Gawande may have written the most influential magazine article of the past decade.
To me, the Gawande article reinforces the importance to the health care consumer of being acquainted with
health patterns (i.e. epidemiology) as related to health care alternatives. Information on outcomes and statistics from public health practices may be challenging to relate to one’s own personal situation. However, they can provide the ultimate deciding factor, especially when other elements of decision making do not offer clear cut choices. Examples where clear cut choices may not exist are many, such as which prescription medicine to give or when to order additional tests.
Atul Gawande’s original article was found at the following link:
and an NPR report on the original article was here:
Atul Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard. He has received many awards for his research and writing including the MacArthur Award in 2006.