Journalist and former physician Elisabeth Rosenthal on how American healthcare became big business, dysfunctional, and difficult for patients to navigate. Rosenthal is the author of the new book An American Sickness.
Ron Powers has written a personal and historical book about the treatment of the mentally ill in the U.S. He watched his two sons be transformed by schizophrenia. His youngest son committed suicide after struggling with the disease; a few years later his oldest son was diagnosed with the same disease.
He's helped many people through painful passages in their lives. And he's faced his own: Since a near-fatal auto accident in 1979, he's been paralyzed from the chest down. Gottlieb has had nearly three decades to come to terms with the changed circumstances of his body — but now, he fears, that body may be growing tired.
In The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee chronicled how our understanding of cancer has evolved. Starting Monday, Ken Burns' three-part documentary will air on PBS. Terry Gross talked with Mukherjee in 2010.