Quotable Quotes

I am a quotes person, have always been one. As a 10-year old I covered the wall of my room with quotes. Even today I maintain a diary of quotes that I refer to every now and then. Quotes inspire, guide and motivate me.

I am constantly looking for words of wisdom in the business arena as well.In this post I tried to curate a list of some healthcare quotes that resonated with me and have made me think.

Here are some of my favourites:

“Betterment is perpetual labour. The world is chaotic, disorganized, and vexing, and medicine is nowhere spared that reality. To complicate matters, we in medicine are also only human ourselves. We are distractible, weak, and given to our own concerns. Yet still, to live as a doctor is to live so that one’s life is bound up in others’ and in science and in the messy, complicated connection between the two It is to live a life of responsibility. The question then, is not whether one accepts the responsibility. Just by doing this work, one has. The question is, having accepted the responsibility, how one does such work well.”
― Atul GawandeBetter: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance

“But now I also understand, firsthand, the meaning of what the caregivers who work in that system do every day. They do achieve amazing things, and when it’s your life or your child’s life or your mother’s life on the receiving end of those amazing things, there is no such thing as a runaway cost. You’ll pay anything, and if you don’t have the money, you’ll borrow at any mortgage rate or from any payday lender to come up with the cash. Which is why 60 percent of the nearly one million personal bankruptcies filed in the United States last year resulted from medical bills.”
— Steven Brill (America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System)

“The Universal Laws of Health Care Systems:

1. “No matter how good the health care in a particular country, people will complain about it”
2. “No matter how much money is spent on health care, the doctors and hospitals will argue that it is not enough”
3. “The last reform always failed”
— T.R. Reid (The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care)

“A recent Economist article on dialysis perfectly illustrates the inflationary impact of cost-plus pricing. Since U.S. clinics are paid on a cost-plus basis, they prefer to use expensive drugs rather than cheaper ones. In fact, many appear to order drugs in units that exceed what a standard dosage requires because they can charge the government for the wastage. Quoting a stock research firm, the article noted that many clinics preferred an injected drug with a price of $4,100 a year over the identical drug in oral form, priced at only $450 a year. Not surprisingly, the manufacturer of the oral drug responded by increasing its price above that of the injected version to make it more competitive!”
― David GoldhillCatastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father–and How We Can Fix It

“Japan has the oldest population in the world, and the Japanese go to the doctor more than anybody—about fourteen office visits per year, compared with five for the average American. And yet Japan spends about $3,400 per person on health care each year; we burn through $7,400 per person.”
— T.R. Reid (The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care)

“The concept of multivitamins was sold to Americans by an eager nutraceutical industry to generate profits. There was never any scientific data supporting their usage.”
― Paul A. OffitDo You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

“What is needed, however, isn’t just that people working together be nice to each other. It is discipline. Discipline is hard–harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even than selflessness. We are by nature flawed and inconstant creatures. We can’t even keep from snacking between meals. We are not built for discipline. We are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful attention to detail. Discipline is something we have to work at.”
― Atul GawandeThe Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

“We’re paying a lot more for everything because we have this naive assumption that healthcare can be a marketplace when everyone of us sitting here knows that when we’re sick, we’re not a savvy consumer of healthcare.” Steven Brill, America’s Toxic Pill

“It drove home to me the reality that in addition to being a tough political issue because of all the money involved, health care is a toxic political issue because of all the fear and the emotion involved.” Steven Brill, America’s Toxic Pill

“Billions of dollars are spent on technology and IT in healthcare, but most of that is for legacy enterprise systems. Very antiquated systems and procedures are in place in healthcare. Technology can change that. This tells me that healthcare is ripe with disruptive potential.”
Aaron Levie, CEO of Box

“Today, however, anti-vaccine activists go out of their way to claim that they are not anti-vaccine; they’re pro-vaccine. They just want vaccines to be safer. This is a much softer, less radical, more tolerable message, allowing them greater access to the media. However, because anti-vaccine activists today define safe as free from side effects such as autism, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots—conditions that aren’t caused by vaccines—safer vaccines, using their definition, can never be made.”
― Paul A. OffitDeadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All

“A patient in the American health care system has very little leverage, has very little knowledge, has very little power.” Steven Brill, America’s Toxic Pill

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