The Digital Doctor

  • by Robert Wachter
  • Narrated by Benjamin Wachter
  • 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

While modern medicine produces miracles, it also delivers care that is too often unsafe, unreliable, unsatisfying, and impossibly expensive. For the past few decades, technology has been touted as the cure for all of healthcare's ills. But medicine stubbornly resisted computerization - until now. Over the past five years, thanks largely to billions of dollars in federal incentives, health care has finally gone digital.
Yet once clinicians started using computers to actually deliver care, it dawned on them that something was deeply wrong. Why were doctors no longer making eye contact with their patients? How could one of America's leading hospitals give a teenager a 39-fold overdose of a common antibiotic, despite a state-of-the-art computerized prescribing system? How could a recruiting ad for physicians tout the absence of an electronic medical record as a major selling point?
Logically enough, we've pinned the problems on clunky software, flawed implementations, absurd regulations, and bad karma. It was all of those things, but it was also something far more complicated...and far more interesting.
The Digital Doctor examines health care at the dawn of its computer age. It tackles the hard questions, from how technology is changing care at the bedside to whether government intervention has been useful or destructive, and it does so with clarity, insight, humor, and compassion.
"We need to recognize that computers in health care don't simply replace my doctor's scrawl with Helvetica 12", writes the author Dr. Robert Wachter. "Instead, they transform the work, the people who do it, and their relationships with each other and with patients.... Sure, we should have thought of this sooner. But it's not too late to get it right."
This riveting audiobook offers the prescription for getting it right.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


For all of us in medicine, this is an important book to frame our current challenges. Not too upbeat or pessimistic. Well done!
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- N. Martin

Nailed it

I currently work as a Chief Medical Informatics Officer at a community health system, and I can tell you that Robert Wachter absolutely nailed it with this book. Very engaging, well written, and he gives a full voice to all aspects of the challenges healthcare is now facing. I usually have difficulty explaining what I do for a living to people not in healthcare, but now I can point them to The Digital Doctor and explain to them ... It's way worse than you think!
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- Beth Glisson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-27-2015
  • Publisher: Robert Wachter