Assume the Physician is spicy, eye-opening, tear-jerking, belly-laughing chicken-soup for anyone who struggles in the medical system. In the humorous and radical style of Catch-22, MASH, and House of God, the novel lays bare the core problems with our current health system and the causes of medical hyperinflation, all from the perspective of a thoughtful young physician, Dr. Eddie Marcus, who has little respect for less-than-competent authorities.
Dr. Eddie Marcus struggles to maintain his humanity and humility during his first year of training, as he inventively lies, cheats and steals his way around the destructive forces that work within the medical system to prevent good patient care. Eddie’s mentor—attending physician Dr. Blow—and a cast of entertaining staff and patients help to nurture him through his exhausting year as he does battle with the numerous agencies within and without the hospital that try to control and stagnate his ability to learn and practice medicine. Eddie and Dr. Blow together fight dust mites in mattresses, horrible smells, and the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. They develop a highly appreciated ‘strategic napping initiative’ for the residents at the demand of American College of Graduate Medical Education. They try to understand medical economics as they combat Medicare and the health insurance industry and their own hospital administrators. The means by which pharmaceutical companies detrimentally influence prescription habits is revealed at a drug-rep dinner. Eddie describes in a clearly understandable humorous manner the means by which the electronic medical record interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. They travel to Liberia to care for sick children, and compare that experience to medical practice in the United States. They build a union and go on strike against health insurance. Eddie falls in love.