The Slippery Slope of Healthcare: Why Bad Things Happen to Healthy Patients and How to Avoid Them

Steven Z. Kussin. Rowman & Littlefield, $30 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-5381-2162-7

Former clinician Kussin (Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now) provides an empowering compendium of health-care advice, focused on the pitfalls of overdiagnosis. Though Kussin places blame on health-care providers for pushing unnecessary care—and on patients for demanding it—he isn’t aiming for exposé or outrage, but rather to arm readers with the tools for better decision making. These include a detailed section about which screening tests are likely to yield actionable information and a list of reliable resources including Cochrane’s evidence-based research repository; websites such as MedLine Plus and, which doctors respect and use; and patient decision aids provided by institutions like the Mayo Clinic. More generally, Kussin tries to convince readers that ideas along the lines of “better safe than sorry” and “get as much healthcare as you can afford” are not only wrong but potentially harmful, thanks to the dangers of hospital-caused illness. His affable, enthusiastic guide will leave readers feeling smart, informed, and better prepared for taking a nonalarmist and responsible approach to their own health. (Apr.)