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Ellen B Kagan

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Ellen In Medicaland: True Stories of How I Fell Down Medicine's Black Hole
by Ellen B Kagan   

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Health Care:Choice or Chance

A book of black humor of how I dealt with my off-the-wall experiences with Harvard doctors at a Harvard teaching hospital.

This book tells of my totally crazy medical experiences, as well as those of my mother's and various friends.  So many doctors are totally clueless and the point of the book is to  show you that you must be very vigilant in dealing with doctors, even if they are affiliated with Harvard.

The humor is very black and you will find yourself laughing with tears in your eyes.  You will definitely recognize yourself in these stories.

This book is now on Kindle.



While Mom was in her bed in the hospital getting ready for her sternectomy, she had gone over her affairs to make certain that everything was in good shape in case anything happened during the procedure. That morning she and I talked about a lot of things, mostly very prosaic, but I knew that she was scared stiff.

As Mom was lying in her bed, dreading what was about to happen to her, Dr. Oakes bounced into her room and I thought he would spend his time with her, encouraging her and telling her that she would be fine.

When he arrived, her face lit up. Mom was so fond of Jim - he was so warm and caring with her. But, as I knew, Jim had some personal problems of his own. His wife,Lucia,was a local politician and ran for office periodically, which seemed to always throw him off-kilter. During her campaigns, he would get manic and very strung out. Now she was running for a statewide position and the election was the next day. Thus, it seemed that the last thing on his mind was Mom's operation. Instead, he blurted out, "Did you vote, Dorothy? Lucia really needs it!"

We both looked at him uncomprehending-
ly. How could his wife's election be more important to us than my mother's ordeal? And how could Jim be so absorbed in his own issues, forgetting that my mother had a very frightening surgery to face? Well, as I have constantly been writing in this book, Medicaland is like the Twilight Zone, made up of all kinds of people with very strange idiosyncrasies.

Professional Reviews

Ellen In Medicaland leads us through the labyrinth that is the U.S healt care system. By sharing her experience with an uncaring system, Ellen Kagan exposes the gaps in being able to receive appropriate health care under the current system. Her story affirms that to have true health reform in the U.S, we need to reform more than just the financial aspects of the system. Her response to dealing with her experience will be empowering to all other patients who have had to deal with a non-responsive health care system.

Ellen Kagan is a strong woman with a lot of fight, a David vs. Goliath, which is the U.S health system. As a personal friend, I know that she is very compassionate and has written Ellen In Medicaland because she does not want her pain and suffering to happen to another patient or to any other families. I am so glad that she let her voice be heard in this book and that she has spoken truth to power.

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Reader Reviews for "Ellen In Medicaland: True Stories of How I Fell Down Medicine's Black Hole"

Reviewed by Ellen Kagan 3/22/2011
Ellen Kagan has reached many thousands over the last fifteen years through the media of radio and cable television. Her tales from the healthcare twilight zone will now continue to bring compassion and hope to wider audiences through print. A study published recently reveales that hospital care injures almost one in five patients. Bureaucratic efforts have failed to improve patient safety after a decade of trying. Only an enlightened, engaged and outraged population will establish and enforce high standards of care, including a limit on the number of patients an RN may care for at one time. Ellen has worked on the cutting edge of the movement for that standard. Organized nursing embraces her efforts and together we continue the fight for enactment of such staffing and other standards as a right of everyone encountering our profit-driven healthcare non-system.

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