About the Discussion

Fascinating Physician: Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, Author of "Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician"

In his acclaimed memoir Intern, Sandeep Jauhar chronicled the harrowing, formative years of his residency at a prestigious New York City hospital. Doctored is his dramatic followup, a memoir that presents the crisis of American medicine through the life of an attending cardiologist.

Hoping for the stability he needs to start a family, Jauhar accepts a position at a massive teaching hospital on the outskirts of Queens. With a decade's worth of elite medical training behind him, he is keen to settle down and reap the rewards for countless sleepless nights. Instead, he is confronted with sobering truths: doctors’ morale is low and getting lower, and when doctors are unhappy, their patients are apt to be unhappy as well. He sees naked cronyism determining patient referrals, industry partnerships distorting medical decisions, and unnecessary tests being routinely performed in order to generate income. Meanwhile, a single patient in his hospital might see fifteen specialists in one stay, fail to receive a full picture of his actual condition, and leave with a bill for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Outraged at the state of his profession and troubled by patients’ undue suffering, Jauhar fights to keep his ideals intact. But Jauhar too finds himself ensnared in the system. Tormented by a mid-life crisis, and trying to make ends meet, he resorts to moonlighting for a profit-driven private practice that orders batteries of tests just to drum up fees and ward off malpractice lawsuits.

Provoked by his unsettling experiences, Jauhar has written an introspective memoir that is also an impassioned plea for reform. With American medicine at a crossroads, Doctored is the important work of a writer unafraid of challenging the establishment, admitting fault, and inciting controversy.

Questions & Answers

  1. What's the best part of your job?
  2. The best part of my job is creating enduring relationships with patients. This is the most important thing to me.
  3. What is one thing that you do every day, and why do you do it?
  4. I put my kids to bed every night. This is something I almost never miss out on doing. It reminds me of what is truly import in my life, and what are just frills.
  5. If you could be a disease process, what would it be and why?
  6. I would be Tuberculosis (TB) because I would have spent time with so many famous writers--including Russian physician and short story writer Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, English novelist and essayist George Orwell, and American poet and practical philosopher Henry David Thoreau.