The Citizen Patient

Reforming Health Care for the Sake of the Patient, Not the System

By Nortin M. Hadler, M.D.

264 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 7 figs., 7 tables, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5466-9
    Published: August 2019
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-0704-7
    Published: April 2013
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-0705-4
    Published: April 2013

Buy this Book

Conflicts of interest, misrepresentation of clinical trials, hospital price-fixing, and massive expenditures for procedures of dubious efficacy--these and other critical flaws leave little doubt that the current U.S. health-care system is in need of an overhaul. In this essential guide, preeminent physician Nortin Hadler urges American health-care consumers to take time to understand the existing system and to visualize what the outcome of successful reform might look like. Central to this vision is a shared understanding of the primacy of the relationship between doctor and patient. Hadler shows us that a new approach is necessary if we hope to improve the health of the populace. Rational health care, he argues, is far less expensive than the irrationality of the status quo.

Taking a critical view of how medical treatment, health-care finance, and attitudes about health, medicine, and disease play out in broad social and political settings, Hadler applies his wealth of experience and insight to these pressing issues, answering important questions for Citizen Patients and policy makers alike.

About the Author

Nortin M. Hadler, M.D., M.A.C.P., M.A.C.R., F.A.C.O.E.M., is professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and attending rheumatologist at UNC Hospitals. His most recent book is Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society.
For more information about Nortin M. Hadler, M.D., visit the Author Page.


"Hadler offers a thoroughly researched argument that the American health-care system is largely profit driven and entails costs unmatched by those of other industrialized nations. . . . Hadler also offers attainable solutions."--Library Journal

"An eye-opener for those not privy to what goes on inside the once-hallowed halls of hospitals and health-care systems. It’s also chock-full of information for citizens who want to take charge of their health for their own sake. Hadler’s suggestions aren’t radical; rather, they’re rational: evidence-based medicine, stringent medical device licensing guidelines, and restoration of the physician-client partnership, among others."--ForeWord Reviews

“This is a fascinating and timely look at American health care and the healthcare business in the United States.”--Nursing Standard

“This well-written, timely book will interest health sciences students, health care practitioners and policy makers, and laypersons. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers.”--Choice

"Dr. Hadler’s knowledge of conflicts endemic in U.S. health care is unparalleled. . . . A home run when. . . . [Hadler's] examples are so clear and his integrity impeccable such that even his critics have to admire his pluck."--New York Journal of Books

“This book takes the reader inside the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries, across borders, and, finally, where the healing actually takes place: inside the doctor’s office.”--Carolina Alumni Review

Multimedia & Links

Read: Hadler's guest blog post at the Scientific American, "The Scientific Basis for Choosing to Be a Patient: Forearmed Is Forewarned." (5/29/2013)