"No other writer has captured the essential truths about illness with as much clarity."
Me vs. Us
A Health Divided
How can we care so much about health care yet so little about health?
In Me vs. Us, primary care doctor and public health advocate Michael Stein explains how public health has continually "lost out" to medicine, to health care--from a loss in funding and resources to how we view our personal priorities. He offers eight reasons why our interest in the technologies and delivery of health care supersedes our interest in public health and its focus on the core social, economic, and environmental forces that shape health. The misplaced emphasis on health care endangers us. It puts us at risk because the solutions to our most concerning health crises, from obesity to climate change, will not come from self-concern or individual actions but from the Us perspective of public health.
Praise for ME VS. US
“Stein brilliantly interrogates the tension between individual health and the health of the population. He offers a critically important approach for creating a new partnership between the health care and public health systems. This is a daring and original work for our divided times." -- Bapu Jena, MD, PhD, economist and physician at Harvard University and host of Freakonomics, MD
"Michael Stein has written a brilliant and important book. His view of health takes a wider lens that includes poverty, social support, and environment to look at factors that drive the need for health care. At a time when health disparities have become more evident, health costs more burdensome, and health care more technical, this book points us towards a different approach based on community, on 'us.' Me vs. Us should be required reading for anyone trying to understand how a nation that spends so much on health care fails to deliver on health." -- Tom Insel, MD, author, Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health and former Director, National Institute of Mental Health
"In Me vs. Us, Michael Stein persuasively makes the case that improving health in America requires not just a 'Me' (medical care and personal responsibility) perspective but importantly also an 'Us' (public health and policy, systems, and environmental change) perspective. His message is significant and timely for policymakers and the public." -- Anand Parekh, MD, Chief Medical Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center
"Me vs. Us is the right book for this time in our nation as we grapple with the challenge of transforming our collective ethos and mindset concerning health. Dr. Stein's research is impeccable, yet highly accessible. Every chapter builds an irrefutable case for moving from our current 'me'-centered medical treatment paradigm to an 'us'-centered public health approach to policies that expand opportunities for health and well-being. Dr. Stein has bravely stepped into this teachable post-pandemic moment to offer enduring and urgently needed insights. This book is a must-read for policymakers and the voters that elect them." -- Gail Christopher, DN, ND, Chair of the Board, Trust for America's Health and Former Vice President, WK Kellogg Foundation