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Book and Media Reviews
March 23 2011

Next Medicine: The Science and Civics of Health

JAMA. 2011;305(12):1244. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.355

Walter Bortz has lived a remarkable life. He volunteered with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, who advised him to “just love the dying.” He discussed the origin of life with Freeman Dyson at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. He invited Norman Cousins to join him in a panel discussion on wellness, and Linus Pauling sat in the first row.

Bortz is a senior geriatrician, an octogenarian marathon runner, and a proud dad. He is also an inquisitive thinker, reaching into history, philosophy, anthropology, and astrophysics to diagnose what is wrong with medicine today and to suggest alternatives. Next Medicine is his description of how medicine has gone off the tracks and what should be done to recover the grand ambitions of Bortz's beloved profession. It is also a fascinating memoir.