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The Ailing Nation: Lessons From the Bedside for America’s Leaders by Nate Link MD

A unique and cleverly written book!

The author, Dr. Link, earned his MD at Washington University School of Medicine in 1982. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue, American’s oldest public hospital, where he is now the Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Link was Co-Chief Editor of the “Bellevue Guide to Outpatient Medicine,” winner of the American Medical Writers Association award as Book of the Year for Physicians in 2001.

I found reading this absolutely fascinating, the authors frank memoirs of events and the patients he has treated during his career in this prestigious hospital were both very entertaining, and revealing. One can only admire his candidity in exposing the inevitable mistakes which had been made in the past by the medical professionals. Yet, whilst doing this, he also revealed the very ‘human’ side of the nurses, doctors, and other professionals, and the invaluable gift of sixth sense which sometimes prevailed.

I would imagine that many readers of this book, like myself, will forget for most of the time the political aspect of this book, and the morals in the stories it contains. Because, quite simply, the writer has enrobed the politics so well in an excellent story that his message is naturally absorbed, as if my osmosis.

However, the book illustrates that the pressures, expectations, and management skills, required to keep a large hospital like Bellevue functioning smoothly cannot be underestimated. And, as we discover, it is not all about self, self, self, the hospital isn’t an island. There are the patients, workers, other facilities of the same, and similar ilk, to be added to the equation of every decision. Crisis, have and will happen, whether it be AIDS, Ebola, the coronavirus, or meteorological disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and fires.  All these factors, and many others have to be juggled carefully to keep the different departments running smoothly, and the patients care to the best possible standard. Also, importantly, when an error is discovered, it cannot be overlooked, or swept under the carpet, it must be dealt with, corrected, and measures put in place to ensure it is not repeated. Just like in ruling a country…

The author has cleverly likened the state of America to that of a terminally ill cancer patient. He however, unlike many author’s doesn’t blame one president/party or another, a particular set of circumstances, or even the handling of an individual event or crisis. He instead acknowledges that every illness is different and therefore calls for unique treatment, and just as importantly, accepts that the symptoms have been present for a long time.

He, as if medically treating the cancer, through his stories looks at the underlying symptoms of his patients and by extension the country. These life lessons and memories have given the author a unique perspective and he offers interesting solutions to America’s problems through them.

This is a book for the leaders and the people, both insightful, and educational. If only the people in power could embrace, and go forward with the author’s suggestions, this country would be in remission and a long way to recovery. Highly recommended.

About the Book:

A NATION IN DISTRESS

America has enjoyed an enviable life. Yet, in recent years, there have been unmistakable signs of chronic illness. Our economic progress has fallen off its once-blistering pace, our ability to shape world events has been checked, and our vaunted democratic institutions have begun to collapse around us. America is ailing. Now, here we are, nearly forty years into a chronic illness that has resisted our best efforts at diagnosis. Is this the cancer of our advancing age? The long, slow, terminal decline that will defy the best approaches of modern Medicine? Our fitful end? Not necessarily.

In the past four decades, American hospitals have garnered principles of safety from the aviation industry, gathered tips about quality from automobile manufacturers, and gleaned insights into customer service from the hotel trade. These interstellar innovations launched American healthcare into a continuously self-improving model of advancing performance. As such, the world of Medicine has valuable assets to offer the political multiverse: A culture of excellence. Intellectual tools to diagnose and treat difficult problems. A systematic approach that guides almost everything we say and do, yet is seldom employed in the chambers of government. And now it is time to pay it forward.

In this collection of riveting stories from patient narratives and leadership challenges – from heartbreaking tales of AIDS, to a harrowing evacuation during Superstorm Sandy, to the exhilarating conquest of Ebola – Dr. Nate Link translates a lifetime of experience into useful lessons for our nation’s leaders. To review these examples, he takes us to the bedside of his most memorable cases. We will learn from Natalie, the well-meaning ICU nurse who ignored the ventilator alarm, Juan, the irrepressible AIDS patient who had nine lives, Gerry, the bemused accountant whose brain could not store new memories, and Thomas, the accidental tourist who was raised from the dead. Two dozen other notable patients will teach us additional lessons in leadership. In the final chapter, our lessons will jointly lead us to a most unexpected conclusion and a prescription for the cure of our nation’s mysterious malady.

Dr. Link is the Chief Medical Officer of Bellevue, America’s oldest public hospital, and has practiced there since arriving as a lowly intern at the onset of the AIDS epidemic. He earned his MD from Washington University School of Medicine in 1983, then completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital in 1986. Dr. Link was Co-Chief Editor of the “Bellevue Guide to Outpatient Medicine,” winner of the American Medical Writers Association award as Book of the Year for Physicians in 2001.

Author’s Website: https://snickersnack.com/

The Ailing Nation is available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1977224989?pf_rd_r=66F98YEPBBKWNM...

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