The Color of Atmosphere

The Color of Atmosphere

One Doctor's Journey in and Out of Medicine

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
The author shares her dream of becoming a doctor, her Navy experience working with patients who all had medical coverage through the government, the shock of entering private practice, and her final decision to leave medicine.

Chelsea Green Publishing

If the medical profession you'd devoted your life to was completely taken over by liability concerns and insurance regulations, would you stay a physician?

The Color of Atmosphere tells one doctor's story and the route of her medical career with warmth, humor, and above all, honesty. As we follow Maggie Kozel from her idealistic days as a devoted young pediatrician, through her Navy experience with universal health coverage, and on into the world of private practice, we see not only her reverence for medical science, and her compassion for her patients, but also the widening gap between what she was trained to do and what is eventually expected of her.

Her personal story plays out against the backdrop of our changing health-care system, and demonstrates the way our method of paying for health care has reached its way into the exam room, putting a stranglehold on how doctors practice, and profoundly influencing the doctor-patient relationship. The stories she shares illustrate the medical, economic, and moral complexities of US health care. To understand Dr. Kozel's ultimate decision to leave medicine is to better comprehend the disconnect between our considerable medical resources and how our health-care system falls short of delivering them.

Book News
Kozel, a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1980, spent the first 10 years of her medical career as a physician in the US military, with its universal, single-payer health coverage offering every family the same access to the latest health care. In this memoir for general readers, she recounts with warmth and humor her journey from idealistic young pediatrician to the culture shock of private practice outside the military. Her personal story is told in the context of the changing healthcare system, focusing on how the current method of paying for health care has changed the way doctors practice, not for the better. Kozel, now a high school teacher, argues that the profession is currently shaped by health insurance reimbursements and pharmaceutical marketing rather than by science. The book will be of interest to those working in the medical profession, those considering it, and general readers. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: White River Junction, Vt. : Chelsea Green Pub., c2011
ISBN: 1603582975 (pbk.)
9781603582971 (pbk.)
Branch Call Number: B KOZEL
Characteristics: xv, 236 p. ; 23 cm


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