Broke: Patients Talk about Money with Their Doctor
It would be great, Michael Stein says, if his fellow primary care doctors asked patients if they ever have trouble making ends meet at the end of the month. “That’s a diagnosis as much as diabetes is a diagnosis,” he says. “And if the answer is yes, we need to offer assistance in the office, as we would with any other condition.”
Stein, a physician in his hometown for more than 30 years and a professor of health law, policy, and management at Boston University, discusses his book Broke and its telling look at how patients’ financial challenges complicate every decision they make in life. He does talk to his patients about finances, not only to find out how to better treat them but also to bear witness to their very survival and the power of human resilience, he says.
Vignettes in his book capture those intimate encounters.
Stein has chaired Boston University’s Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management since 2016 and spent 28 years as a professor at Brown University. He is executive editor of the popular online forum Public Health Post and the author of nine previous books and more than 375 articles in scientific journals.