Why We Revolt: A Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care by Victor Montori MD

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Why We Revolt: A Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care – Victor Montori, MD – 9781893005624 – Mayo Clinic Press – paperback – 192 pages – $14.99 – September 29, 2020 – ebook versions available at lower prices

Victor Montori is an incredibly empathetic and kind clinician, whose commitment to creating a better form of health care than we have today in the United States shines through every page of this short, but extremely powerful book. Dr. Montori is an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is originally from Lima,Peru, where he went to medical school before coming to America for postgraduate study and staying here to practice medicine.

Why We Revolt was originally published as part of the work of his nonprofit organization, The Patient Revolution, and has now been published by the Mayo Clinic, where Dr. Montori is on staff. In the book, he gives us a practitioner’s view of how health care has become corrupted through corporatism and the industrialization of medical care. This conceptual framework resonates for me – modern medicine treats our bodies as products.

Dr. Montori points out that our medical/healthcare system makes doctors and patients accountable for “delivering care” instead of systematically supporting the work of caring. Our emphasis on efficiency requires the health care system to process instead of care for people. And that the emphasis on standardizing diagnosis and treatment alike disables the core caring relationship between doctors and other caregivers and the patient. As Montori puts it, the system “offers care for people like you instead of care for you.”

The book proposes that we build a health care system that is based not on greed but on solidarity – this is the revolutionary idea at the core of the book, one that is incredibly energizing and moving.

Dr. Montori proposes a transformational effort. Why We Revolt was written long before COVID19, of course, but the book clearly predicts how the response to COVID19 would favor the economic interests of medical industrial complex to profit from the pandemic. It also predicted policies that left ill patients away from loved ones, to suffer and die alone. It also predicted how clinicians, patients, and citizens would come together, going beyond personal self-interest and in support of our communities to help and to protect each other, resulting in the production of homemade masks and the nightly celebrations of healthcare professionals in major cities.

Why We Revolt very clearly documents how the American healthcare system has become both exploited and industrialized. The United States lags behind many other countries on patient outcomes, as the emphasis in our system is on profit rather than the core values of patient care. There is no question that change is needed and this book is a valuable stimulus and handbook for the change we can make together before the whole system collapses under the weight of capitalism.

This book should be an inspiration to physicians, policymakers, and of course to all of us who are patients. There is no question that we can find ways to transform our healthcare system to make it compassionate and humane and affordable for all.

Author proceeds from Why We Revolt go directly to Patient Revolution, a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Montori that empowers patients, caregivers, community advocates, and clinicians to rebuild our healthcare system one bit at a time.

Dr. Montori has received the Karis Award, a patient-nominated recognition for his compassionate care. A researcher in the science of patient-centered care, Victor and his colleagues have authored over 580 research articles. A full professor of medicine at only 39 years of age, Montori is one of the most cited clinical researcher in the world.

Victor is a passionate and powerful advocate for his work and for his ideas, and caregiving and kindness are central to him as a human being as well as a doctor. Speaking with him is inspiring, and I hope that through this podcast, you will enjoy this brief opportunity to hear him speak and yourself be inspired to help bring his ideas to fruition.

Buy the book from Bookshop.org to support independent booksellers.

Visit The Patient Revoution website for more information about Dr. Montori’s work.

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