Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine. Edited by Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. Macon, Hacienda Publishing, 1997. Pages: 209. Price:$23.95.
This book is a must for those who consider themselves “conservatives” who seek material to support their views that governmental interferes with doctor-patient relationships. This book is also a must for those who consider themselves “liberals” and want to understand the conservative argument against “corporate” medicine.
Dr. Faria, a Cuban immigrant who received medical training at the Medical University of South Carolina and Emory University, has put together this book as a collection of his essays. These essays were written while he served as the editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia and span the time period of 1992-1995, when the political debate regarding healthcare delivery in the United States was at its hottest.
Dr. Faria makes many thought-provoking arguments based on economic theory and historic comparison. His premise is that the evolution in the delivery of health care in the United States has robbed the physician-patient relation of its sanctity. He points out that substituting for the physician-patient relation is a relation among government agencies, insurers, and health maintenance organizations that revolves around the flow of money, with little regard to individual patient concerns.
Dr. Faria reveals the wrath he experienced from “politically correct” organized medicine, which felt his “in your face” arguments about the evolving delivery of health care jeopardized their place at the political bargaining table. In one of his last essays, he chronicles the events leading up to his dismissal as the editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia because of his questioning of politically correct dogma.
In summary, Dr. Faria puts forth the challenge to physicians and physician groups to be thoughtful and not politically expedient in healthcare reform. He does so with captivating historic trends, economic theory, and epidemiologic data. I recommend the book for all those (should it not be all of us) interested in the doctor-patient relation and institutional and administrative pressures that change this relation.
Kevin L. Speight, M.D.
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology; Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Winston-Salem, North Carolina;email@example.com