Curable: How an Unlikely Group of Radical Innovators is Trying to Transform our Health Care System
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN 10: 1603589260
ISBN 13: 978-1603589260
Smart metrics, slow thinking, off-label drugs, and a “Moneyball” prescription for fixing modern medicine--by the author of Tripping Over the Truth
The United States is fast becoming the sickest nation in the Western world. Cancer rates continue to rise. There is an epidemic of chronic disease in children. Even with all the money and modern innovations in science, the country’s health care system is beyond broken. Clearly there is a glitch in the system. But what if the solution has been here all along, and we’ve just been too blind to see it?
In Curable journalist and health care advocate Travis Christofferson looks at medicine through a magnifying glass and asks an important question: What if the roots of the current US health care crisis are psychological and systemic, perpetuated not just by corporate influence and the powers that be, but by you and me? It is now known that human perception is based on deeply entrenched patterns of irrational thought, which we attach ourselves to religiously. So how does this implicate the very scientific research and data that doctors rely on to successfully treat their patients?
A page-turning inquiry into a “moneyball approach to medicine,” Curable explores the links between revolutionary baseball analytics; Nobel Prize–winning psychological research on confirmation bias; wildly successful maverick economic philosophy; the history of the radical mastectomy and the rise of the clinical trial; cutting edge treatments routinely overlooked by regulatory bodies; and outdated medical models that prioritize profit over prevention. As stark as things are, Christofferson asks us to see health care not as a toppling house of cards, but as a badly organized system that is inherently fixable. How do we fix it? First we must reframe the conflict between doctors’ intuition and statistical data. Then we must design better systems that can support doctors who are increasingly overwhelmed with the complexity of modern medicine.
Curable outlines the future of medicine, detailing brilliant examples of new health care systems that prove we can do better. It turns out we have more control over our health (and happiness) than we think.
“Travis Christofferson provides a compelling strategy for curing our broken health care system based on ‘moneyball’ logic, common sense, and validated science. Why is the logic and science supporting this strategy ignored? Every member of our society should address the questions posed in Curable, especially those in the health care industry and in the US congress.”―Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease
“We cannot expect the health care industry to change on its own. We have to take ownership of our own choices, look at the research with a critical eye, and compel the change that we so desperately need. Nobody provides the evidence-based rallying cry like Travis Christofferson, and Curable is a perfect blueprint for some of the ways we can start to make real improvements to the health of our nation, now.”―Aubrey Marcus, CEO, Onnit; New York Times best-selling author of Own the Day, Own Your Life
“Travis Christofferson’s highly anticipated new book does not disappoint. Our current medical system (I find it difficult to call it ‘health’ care) is defective, and Curable goes into great detail as to why and offers an intelligent approach to the future of medicine. A growing number of doctors are finding ways to support their patient outcomes by repurposing drugs as well as changing their thinking in order to approach the challenge of chronic illness with entirely new methods. However, with the average clinical study costing millions of dollars and taking 17 years to go from bench to bedside, patients often don’t have the luxury of time nor the financial resources to utilize these expensive treatments. Christofferson encourages us to look beyond the dogma and leads us down an entirely new path. I anticipate this book will be an important wake up call for physicians, patients, and biotechnicians to come together and return ‘health’ to health care.”―Dr. Nasha Winters, coauthor of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer
“Curable is exceptionally well written, captivating, and convincing. It’s true that the existing problem with health care is psychological and systemic, and there are numerous examples and stories to support this. Travis Christofferson advances the idea of repurposing drugs in innovative ways, which has the potential to revolutionize a profit-driven and incompetent health care system. The off-label use of generic drugs can be highly efficacious and an adjuvant to augment existing therapies. For examples, see the recent studies on the use of metformin for cancer or the use of ketamine for drug-resistant depression. There are many ideas presented in this book that are incredibly important for researchers, health care professionals, and educators to understand and disseminate. Curable is incredibly informative, and I will be sure to recommend it to all my colleagues and students.”―Dominic D’Agostino, PhD, associate professor, USF Morsani College of Medicine
“Travis Christofferson elegantly details why and how Western medicine is failing us and, more importantly, gives us a road map for recovery. We already have the tools of the trade to change direction, we simply need a new driver to effect those changes. Curable helps to properly inform those that wish to take control of their health to identify interventions that are biologically plausible and which have a proper scientific basis. These are time-tested therapies with minimal side effects and maximal outcomes that can give us all the power to change direction. As Lao Tzu said, ‘If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.’ Read this book and steer yourself back to good health.”―Dr. Sarah Myhill, author of Sustainable Medicine and Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalitis
“Travis Christofferson seamlessly weaves together psychology, medicine, history, and insight in this page-turning book, providing a compelling case for improving the quality of life of patients in efficient and effective ways. Christofferson has an exceptional ability to synthesize the work of others, and in Curable he brings it all together in a gripping narrative that’s both informative and entertaining.”―Bob Kaplan, MS, MBA, medical research analyst
About the Author
Travis Christofferson, MS, is the author of Curable and Tripping Over the Truth and received his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from the Honors College at Montana State University and a master’s degree in material engineering and science from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Today he is a full-time science writer and founder of a cancer charity. He lives in South Dakota.