The Ailing Nation: Lessons From the Bedside for America’s Leaders
Nate Link, M.D.
Outskirts Press (2020)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (03/2021)
“The Ailing Nation: Lessons From the Bedside for America’s Leaders,” by Nate Link, M.D., is powerful work featuring some of Dr. Link’s most memorable cases and how life lessons gleaned from them can apply to healing the United States. The author takes you to the bedside of his patients, chapter by chapter, and by the end, offers a prescription that can help. Using the view that America is sick and need of medicine, who better than an accomplished doctor to examine, diagnose, and offer treatment for what ails the country. Contrary to the current belief that America is doomed, Link offers hopeful solutions instead, and thinks there is still time to turn things from negative into positive. He asserts that the answers lie in the nature and mind of America itself–that the character traits that built America can also nurse it back onto its feet again.
This well-written, provocative book is full of thoughtful and practical ideas that are instantly accessible. America is sick and in need of help? Declining in physical and economic health? Dying? Interesting comparisons to medicine, and Dr. Link cleverly shows how to remedy things by using his own patients as examples, and healthcare as a framework to view it all in: His first house call was a necessary one, and this interesting anecdote sets the stage for the ones to follow: A tourist named Thomas who came back to life. An accountant named Gerry, who was incapable of holding on to new memories. And others. I like how the author uses health as a way of explaining America’s problems as he sees them. It’s easier for some readers to relate to, rather than a dry volume of political jargon. When he points out how America is sick, you get it. You’ll be plunged into the heart of COVID-19, hear about recent presidencies, and understand the references to the art of Medicine and the science of Medicine. The anecdotes are unforgettable, and would be as impactful even outside the context of this book.
For a fresh, new take on the state of America and how to start the recovery process, put “The Ailing Nation: Lessons From the Bedside for America’s Leaders,” by Nate Link, M.D., on your must-read list.