By Bernard Leo Remakus
221 East Publishing, $2.99, 178 pages
Bernard Leo Remakus has practiced internal medicine for over 30 years. He has also lectured, coached baseball, raised a family, authored novels, a screenplay and works of non-fiction. He has written countless scientific and medical articles that have been read by physicians, med students and the public. Medicine From the Heart is an eBook that brings together many of Dr. Remakus’ articles, some written over 20 years ago. The result is a collection of stories, personal anecdotes and reflections on the state of America’s health care system.
His essays cover issues including smoking, home health care, faith, psychiatry, malpractice, pro bono work, managed care, the Hippocratic Oath, research and funding, reform and a day in the life of a rural doctor.
Don’t worry. It doesn’t feel like you are reading a scientific journal. Dr. Remakus personalizes each “chapter” so that he tells the story of a person, event or important point. He shares his frustration with insurance companies, hospital billing departments, Workmen’s Compensation, HMOs and Medicare.
Readers who are pro-choice and advocates of end of life choices should know that Dr. Remakus’ personal interpretation of the Hippocratic Oath doesn’t allow him to offer these services to his patients.
Even though some pieces are over 20 years old, a majority of the issues are still relevant today. The fact that many problems haven’t been solved certainly says something about the state of our medical system. But it is reassuring to know that there are caring practitioners like Dr. Remakus who put patients first.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin