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The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist's Reflections on Healing in a Changing World The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist's Reflections on Healing in a Changing World

by Dora Calott Wang, M.D.

Book Reviews

"A beautifully written memoir about the author's frustration with the transformation of the profession of medicine into the business of health care, and the unraveling of the doctor-patient bond . . . A thoroughly compelling message- without an ethical commitment to the value of every life, "the very humanity of our society" is at stake."
--Kirkus (starred review)

"In a memoir that reads like a quest, psychiatrist Wang reports a decades-long mission to discover or, rather, rediscover the profession to which she once aspired and that is currently becoming more and more obscured by the burgeoning so-called health-care industry. Her personal story dovetails with an account of a medical profession floundering under an ever-increasing avalanche of paperwork, driven by and a consequence of the profit motive. This all began, she says, in the 1980s with deregulation, and it represents a 180-degree reversal of previously held notions about the medical profession, from a time when "courts repetitively ruled that it was 'against sound public policy' for companies to seek profit from medical care." Insisting that for-profit medical care is counterintuitive to good medical care, this daughter of an economics professor notes that good medical care lessens the need for itself and does not look for repeat business. That the current health-care crisis has caused anguish and even physical illness in Wang and her like-minded peers registers near palpably."