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Patients Talk about Money with Their Doctor

In Broke, Michael Stein takes the time to listen to the experiences of his patients whose financial challenges complicate every decision they make. Stein asks his patients to tell him about their financial details not only to find out how to better treat them but also to bear witness to their very survival and the power of human resilience. Stein's intimate vignettes capture these encounters, allowing his patients to offer profound, moving, and unguarded reflections about their struggles. Broke is a quietly passionate critique of a country that has grown callous to the plight of the poor, the tens of millions of people in the United States who live below the poverty line. Full of heartbreaking and surprising moments and framed by a wry, knowing, and empathic humor, there is no other book that illuminates the experience of people facing economic hardship in this way.

Praise for Broke

Broke is a powerful read, one full of surprising details, that provides a fascinating portrayal of medical patients and their relationship with poverty. Stein lifts up his patients’ voices so we can understand just what they have experienced, and his own voice is gentle, reflective, and empathetic. This is  book every doctor and patient should read.” --Belle Boggs, author of The Art of Waiting and The Gulf. 


“Michael Stein presents the heartbreaking words of his patients who face the reality of having to choose between getting medical treatments or paying their bills. The room he creates for these patients to say important, moving, relevant things to him will capture the imagination of every physician who reads this. I have never read a book that moved me more, as a physician, regarding the plight, courage, and creativity of patients.”

--Raymond Barfield, M.D., Duke University

“These stories perfectly encapsulate the health-impacting decisions that those living in poverty make every day.”  - Library Journal

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