December 4, 1981

Inside Russian Medicine: An American Doctor's Firsthand Report

Author Affiliations

Northwestern University Medical School Chicago


by William A. Knaus (with research assistance by Nicholas A. Petroff), 407 pp, with illus, $14.95, New York, Everest House, 1981.

JAMA. 1981;246(22):2634-2635. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320220078037

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


We know too little about Soviet society. Of its science, sociology, and culture we are woefully ill-informed. This book tries to fill that gap by offering insights for a general readership into health and medical care in the USSR. The American appetite for information about health shows no signs of being sated, and this book should find many readers. The author participated in several official tours of the USSR and was provoked by that experience to pursue a study of Soviet medicine. Dr Knaus's unique opportunity to combine a practicing physician's perspective with wide access to Soviet medicine has produced a lively discussion of this "behindthe-scenes" aspect of Soviet life. We come into close contact with ordinary Russian people and feel something of the human conditions we have in common.

This book has major deficiencies, however. First, the emphasis is too often not on an analysis of Russian medicine on