Dynamic Chiropractic - December 18, 1995, Volume 13, Issue 26

Page printed from:

Book Reviews

Title: Clinical Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine

Authors:    Nikolai Bogduk and Lance T. Twomey
Publisher:  Churchill Livingstone
Category:   Student and doctor education
Price:      $45
For ordering information, please see #T-170 on the Preferred Reading and Viewing List, pages 32-33.

Drs. Bogduk and Twomey have created an exemplary piece of literature. The authors state: "We have composed this textbook in order to collate that material which we consider fundamental to the understanding of the structure, function, and common disorders of the lumbar spine." A review of the text has convinced me that the authors have fulfilled their purpose.

What makes this text so valuable is that it is extraordinarily concise, and yet it is still a complete and integrated book. The anatomy, biomechanics, embryology, neurology, and pathology of the lumbar spine are described in a clinically useful fashion. This text is an asset to the student in the anatomy lab and to the doctor in the field.

Students and doctors who spend time in the anatomy lab will find that this book can help bring their cadaveric studies to life, so to speak. Field practitioners will discover that this book organizes the latest lumbar spine research in a fashion that makes reading and studying a stress-free task.

This text should be in the library of every student and chiropractor.

Seaman Rating: 10 out of 10

Title: The Serpent on the Staff: The Unhealthy Politics of the AMA Authors: Howard Wolinsky and Tom Brune Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam Books 200 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 1-800-788-6262 Publication: New paperback edition, 267 pages (also available in hardback) Category: Doctor and patient education Cost: $13.95

This is a newly released paperback edition of Wolinsky and Brune's startling expose on the origin, intent, leadership and objectives of the American Medical Association (AMA). The new edition bests the original hardcover edition by its affordability and updated materials on health care politics under the Clinton administration. Many readers will recall the 1994 book tour at the time of the original publication. If you've been intrigued by the book but put off obtaining it, now is the time to read and add it to your circulating library collection, as well as add it to your civic library collection.

The book is a stark look at the purposes and procedures of the (more aptly termed) "American Doctor's Association," from its initial inception as a vehicle to improve the public image of allopathic physicians, through its various ideological and membership battles, up to its current efforts to structure the American health care system to suit its members' ends. The evolution of the AMA is traced from its beginnings as a scientific and educational organization to its late 20th century focus on political reform and economic control. The cloning of the American Medical Political Action Committee (AMPAC) and its growth as the largest PAC in US politics are detailed. AMA control of Washington real estate, as well as its federal tenets and impact on political action are studied in depth. The continued efforts of the AMA in defense of MD ownership of and self-referral to enterprises such as pharmacies, physical therapy, and rehabilitation centers, advanced imaging and laboratory facilities are examined. Wolinsky and Brune's attention to detail is exemplified by the explanation of the single versus double-serpented caduceus.

Several chapters enumerate the battles waged (or scrupulously avoided) by the AMA. Priority reading (of course) is the chapter on the AMA's crusade against the chiropractic profession, but also of great consumer interest are revelations regarding the attempts to limit nurse practitioner licensing, the non-war against the tobacco industry, fence-sitting on the abortion issue, and the disregard and subsequent politicization of the AIDS crisis.

Wolinsky and Brune write for the Chicago Sun-Times (medical journalist and investigative reporter, respectively), and are masters in anticipation of questions and attempts at marginalization of issues. Questions and concerns are refuted before a reader can raise them. An interview with Dr. James Todd, AMA president, is included, along with a complete list of AMA/AMPAC contributions to all senators and representatives in the 104th Congress.

This book looks at the survival of a professional trade union and how its adaptations, maneuvers, policies, and objectives have impacted American health care since 1847. It is a "must read" for anyone who wishes to understand how the delivery of their personal health care is managed or how political and economic forces will shape the future of the health care delivery system.

Silvestrone Rating: 10 out of 10 (Buy more than one!)