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I like slathering things: Quantity is comforting, and so is creaminess.

I like making a lot of chopped foods that use up my fidget factor, like a chicken hash with melting lumps of foie gras to make it all worthwhile. I can whip up a mean chocolate cake, a variation on one my mother used to make, with lots of kirsch and sour cherries in it. In this state of mind, I may get inspired by recipes, but then I need to run free, to try things arranged in different ways. When it works, and wonderful smells begin to penetrate the house, I get the momentary illusion that I am competent in all aspects of my life and that I can make music of anything.

The frightening chaos outside seems temporarily becalmed. Chicken noodle soup in the making. I love eating creamed spinach, for example, and mashed potatoes, and roast beef. The father of one of my godchildren, however, is a divine chef who works through feelings of irritation or life stresses by silently making things. The more unhappy he is, the more elaborate his cooking becomes. Easing the pain with a nice fresh batch of cinnamon rolls.

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Then he cleans up the mess. Baking, of course, involves closer adherence to recipes than does most of what I do, and he champions the pleasures of putting himself through the paces. Feb 23, Joan Hanna rated it it was amazing. The Kitchen Shrink is a must read for anyone wanting a more intimate view of how the for-profit medical insurance system has changed medical care in general, especially now, as our nation is locked in a debate over health care reform. Wang looks at this industry from all perspectives: Ultimately her road becomes very much like our own; caught within a system that sees no faces and hears no heart beats but only responds to the bottom line.

May 22, Daniel rated it really liked it. There was a lot of good stuff in this book. I was very excited about it at first, but it ended up taking me a long time to read it and I confess to reading segments of it out of order. Usually, we don't spend that much time thinking about how hard it is to be a doctor when for profit systems are in place to make consistent, personalized care unlikely.

However, the patient does suffer in all of this and it is good for us all to know about it. Feb 26, Miri rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book wasn't at all what I expected, but it was brilliant. Until now, I'd never understood what's really going on with American healthcare, both psychiatry and in general. Now I do, and the truth is rather depressing but very important. Everybody who has any interest in health and medicine--so basically, everyone--should read this. Nov 20, Melanie rated it liked it. Nothing surprising here, but the first-hand perspective of a psychiatrist whose career has tracked the changes in psychiatry and health care in general over the past 20 years was interesting.


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I think the memoir format would make this more readable than some of the other nonfiction on America's health care crisis. Nov 08, Wendy rated it it was amazing. If you want to know exactly why healthcare in America has gone off the rails, this highly personal account from a doctor who witnessed it first-hand and struggled within the system to continue to put her patients' care first is a must read.

A lovely combination of memoir and medical history that is accessible to all. May 31, Jen rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is an intriguing look into the changes in health care and specifically mental health care over the course of about fifteen years, seen through the lens of a particular practitioner also trying to figure out how to balance changing demands against a reasonable desire for a personal life, professional ethics, and generally being helpful rather than harmful.

Jul 24, Alison Dawson rated it really liked it. Excellent personal insight into our current for profit health care system. Only downfall is that it would have been nice to know what she thought of the Affordable Care Act.. Nov 29, Julie rated it it was amazing Shelves: The tragic truth of how insurance managed care has raped and ruined the practice of therapy.

Jul 01, Karen rated it liked it. If you want to know why I no longer practice medicine-read this book! Preaching to the choir. Nov 11, Tracy Haughton rated it it was amazing. Pay attention to Dr Wang. We ignore the crisis she exposes at our peril. Jul 31, Michelle Kaye rated it really liked it. Dora Calott Wang, M.

She and her family currently reside in New Mexico. For more information about this author please visit her website www. Doctor Wang writes about the changes that have occurred with regard to the inception of managed health care across this country. She describes scenarios where she was helping patients to get better and live healthier lives, but also scenes where insurers stepped in and began rationing care and dictating the time that medical professionals were allowed to spend with new and revisiting patients.

She opens our eyes to the push by pharmaceutical companies for medications masking symptoms over preventative care that transpired as managed care became big business. American medicine had just been deregulated like the airlines and financial sector. Private for profit corporations began to nibble up our health care system that had previously been run by charitable organizations with emphasis on prevention and treatment.

About these changes she said the following: In health care costs took up 9. A major portion of time under managed health care is allocated to filling out forms and making calls to the insurers because without such paperwork the physicians will not get paid. I do not have health insurance and am waiting to see what changes occur under the newly legislated national health care. I would recommend this book to all persons considering or currently enrolled in medical school and all medical professionals, as well as, all patients, who I am sure can sympathize with the plight of our current health care system and the sad direction it has taken since deregulation.

Mar 21, Kathleen rated it really liked it. An easy to read and fascinating look at the field of psychiatry through the lens of a practitioner during the take over of health care by "for profit" entities. As a nurse with 45 years of experience in health care I have seen the changes she relates and how it has impacted the care of patients. I sympathize with the plight she found herself in while trying to give the care she knew was right but being stymied at every turn. I can certainly understand the reason she had for turning to a differen An easy to read and fascinating look at the field of psychiatry through the lens of a practitioner during the take over of health care by "for profit" entities.

The Kitchen Shrink | Andrew Solomon

I can certainly understand the reason she had for turning to a different career. She explains in very easy to understand ways the reimbursement complexities that hospitals, medical schools and clinics have had to deal with since the 80's. The book also reflects on the reason because it is not profitable in monetary terms for the violent outbreaks by mentally ill individuals: I also enjoyed the way she wove her personal life into the book, although it did not always flow well, it was pertinent to the story.

It made the subject more enlightening.


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  6. It also gave witness to an individual's dealing with diagnosis, coverage,and change in the field of medicine. By relating her personal difficulties with her parents and own health the story gave the reader a look into the problems that even well connected individuals go through trying to get good medical care. Aug 12, Qwerty rated it did not like it. I was very disappointed in this book. The title, "The Kitchen Shrink" is misleading. I was expecting a book about psychiatry. The author is a psychiatrist, but works with transplant patients.

    The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist's Reflections on Healing in a Changing World

    Her basic argument is that everything in medicine was fine until for-profit insurance companies came in and ruined it for everyone. This may be true, but I am sure that there are better books that make a more compelling argument. The author bases her argument entirely on her own personal experiences. Her an I was very disappointed in this book. Her anecdotes of patients denied coverage simply failed to connect with me. I returned this book to the library after reading the first pages.

    For a much better understanding of how psychiatry has changed I would recommend "Unhinged" by Daniel Carlat. Jul 13, Becca rated it it was ok Shelves: I confess, I found it a waste of my time to read pages of ranting about how health care is not the same as it used to be, primarily because of insurance companies and the limitations they place on appropriate care. I thought everyone who has needed serious medical care already knew this.

    And in a world of Obamacare, the arguments have changed. I bought it because of the title. I love stories about mental health therapy and that's what the book seemed to be. Maybe I should have questioned it w I confess, I found it a waste of my time to read pages of ranting about how health care is not the same as it used to be, primarily because of insurance companies and the limitations they place on appropriate care.

    Maybe I should have questioned it when I realized the book was an Amazon remainder.