Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by John A. Kastor, 487 pp, $59.50, ISBN 0-472-11196-5, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2001.
All of us in medicine, not just teaching hospital physicians, owe gratitude to John Kastor, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, for devoting many months to interviewing a host of main participants in attempted mergers involving six nationally known teaching hospitals. His book of quotes and comments will be remembered for the warning it gives that large-hospital merger is an unproductively expensive, and possibly even unachievable, adaptation to medicine's time of troubles. The book is certainly a fast read if you attended one of these schools, allowing you to watch the seemingly inevitable march of US medicine's most famous leaders—toward humiliation in a project of their own creation. We're talking Nobel Laureates here, and multimillionaire investment bankers. It's hard to believe others would do better with the problems they faced.
MergersMergers of Teaching Hospitals in Boston, New York, and Northern California. JAMA. 2001;286(24):3132-3133. doi:10.1001/jama.286.24.3132-JBK1226-3-1