An incredibly important and captivating book for patients, families, and clinicians detailing how we’re all hurt by corporate medicine
“Wendy Dean diagnoses the dangerous state of our healthcare system, illustrating the thumbscrews applied to medical professionals by their corporate overlords… Required reading for all stakeholders in healthcare.” — Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, author of When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error
Offering examples of how to make medicine better for the healers and those they serve, If I Betray These Words profiles clinicians across the country who are tough, resourceful, and resilient, but feel trapped between the patient-first values of their Hippocratic oath and the business imperatives of a broken healthcare system.
Doctors face real risks when they stand up for their patients and their oath; they may lose their license, their livelihood, and for some, even their lives.
There’s a growing sense, referred to as moral injury, that doctors have their hands tied – they know what patients need but can’t get it for them because of constraints imposed by healthcare systems run like big businesses.
Workforce distress in healthcare—moral injury—was a crisis long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but COVID highlighted the vulnerabilities in our healthcare systems and made it impossible to ignore the distress, with 1 in 5 American healthcare workers leaving the profession since 2020, and up to 47% of U.S. healthcare workers now planning to leave their positions by 2025.
If I Betray These Words confronts the threat and broken promises of moral injury – what it is; where it comes from; how it manifests; and who’s fighting back against it. We need better healthcare—for patients and for the workforce. It’s time to act.
Wendy Dean, MD is the President and co-founder of Moral Injury of Healthcare, a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating workforce distress. A seminal article that she co-authored with Simon Talbot, MD for STATNews in July of 2018 began the conversation about moral injury in healthcare. Dr. Dean has practiced as a psychiatrist and an emergency room physician, and is an expert in hand and face transplants, and the ethics of medical innovations.
Simon G. Talbot, MD, co-founder of Moral Injury of Healthcare, is a hand surgeon and microsurgeon who is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Attending Surgeon in the Division of Plastic Surgery and Director of the Upper Extremity Transplant Program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.