Episode 54 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Dr. Michael Saag, one of the pioneers in the battle against HIV-AIDS and author of the provocative new book Positive: One Doctor's Personal Encounters with Death, Life, and the US Healthcare System. When I asked him why he wrote his book he said bluntly "Because I am angry!"
Saag shares the frustration of most American physicians who struggle with the current chaos that we call a healthcare "system." As he notes on page 2 of Positive, “over three decades of unparalleled advances in science and healing, so much about practicing medicine seems to have gotten worse. Medical professionals’ time with patients has decreased while the workload had increased. The cost of patient care has risen by every measure, while insurers appear to profit more and help less.”
In Positive Dr. Saag blends the inside story of how HIV-AIDS was transformed from a death sentence to a manageable chronic medical condition with a candid discussion of our sytems failings. He recognizes that those of us who want to see real change face an uphill battle against powerful, (and rich) entrenched interests who are profiting from the current chaos, but it is his hope that Positive will motivate physicians and patients to use the actvisim that helped spur success against AIDS as an inspiration to fight together for change.
Episode Transcript (Download PDF)
- Positive: One Doctor's Personal Encounters with Death, Life, and the US Healthcare System by Michael Saag. If you buy from the book website proceeds go to HIV-AIDS research.
- A Life Worth Living: A Doctor's Reflections on Illness in a High-Tech Era by Robert Martensen
- Interviews with Dr Robert Martensen (Episode 28 and Episode 29)
- Dr. Campbell's interview on Medical School HQ podcast: episode 64
- Facebook page for Positive
- Google+ page for Positive
- Follow Positive on Twitter
- I will be speaking at The Amazing Meeting, which will be held in Las Vegas, NV July 10-13, 2014.
- I will also be attending the Podcast Movement in Dallas TX, August 16, 17 2014.
- The most recent episosde of the Brain Science Podcast (BSP 108) is an interview with Dr. Michael Graziano author of Consciousness and the Social Brain. The next episode will come out at the end of this month.
- The next episode of Books and Ideas will be with Dr. John Ratey about his new book Go Wild.
- In July 2014 I will be starting a one year fellowship in Palliative Care Medicine at the UAB School of Medicine. I am not sure yet how this will impact my podcasting schedule.