MGH primary care physicians and guests attending the Sept. 26 John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation seminar gained insight into issues relating to U.S. health care policy, the pharmaceutical industry and the nature of evidence in the medical system from guest speaker Shannon Brownlee, author of "Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer." MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, welcomed and introduced Brownlee, whose book was named among "the best economics books of the year" by The New York Times in 2007.
Brownlee explained why the United States currently has the most expensive health care in the world yet also has some of the worst health statistics among developed nations. She highlighted the links between the high cost of American medicine, its quality and sometimes unnecessary care, and made the case for changing both the way doctors and hospitals are paid and the way health care is organized.
The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with physicians Karen Carlson, MD, of the Women's Health Associates; Timothy Ferris, MD, of the MGPO; and William Kormos, MD, of the Internal Medical Associates. The group explored the role that primary care physicians could play in helping patients understand their treatment options so they can choose the care that is right for them.
BOOK SIGNING: Brownlee signs a book for a reader.