The Healthy City (2015)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (01/16)
I love reading horror stories. Ghosts, vampires, and werewolves rock my world. “The End of Healing” by Jim Bailey has none of these. Instead it is a fictional story that incorporates real life issues about the health care crisis that we are facing right now in the United States. To me, this is more terrifying than anything because it is based on reality. I can’t wish the reality of these issues away, like I can with my paranormal creatures.
In this story, Dr. Don Newman is a young resident physician that has to decide which direction he wants to go with his future. Does he want to follow the money and make big bucks without really healing people, or does he want to be a part of changing our current health care system? As he goes through a variety of experiences, there are many times where he feels despondent and is full of self-doubt. When Don chooses to participate in a program that is taught by a radical professor, he learns more about how big money rules the healthcare system. In his class are a wealthy surgeon and a gorgeous female nurse practitioner. Each one of them has a purpose to serve. The relationship among the three is often tumultuous because of their own belief systems. The wealthy surgeon’s family has a lot to lose if the industry changes.
Underlying everything is a history of conspiracies that involve politicians at the highest level. As Don’s eyes are opened he struggles with making a decision. Does he buck the system and risk losing everything or give in and be a part of it? He is also dealing with his own personal problems and has a lot of work to do on resolving issues from his past.
“The End of Healing” by Jim Bailey is a very complex novel. By putting real issues in a fictional setting, it is easier to gain an understanding of what is really happening. The character of the protagonist is very well written. Watching him evolve is a learning experience in itself. Having taken a bio ethics course in college, I wish that this had been my textbook because I was so fascinated in this story. There are citations and a reading group guide that would enable this novel to be used as a textbook. It is also a great selection for a person who works in the healthcare industry. I highly recommend reading “The End of Healing.”