Mistreated is a brilliant and original analysis from one of medicine’s most insightful leaders. The doctor is in.” —Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of David and Goliath
Physician Leader
Recognized as one of Modern Healthcare's
50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders
Health Care Innovator
World Congress
mHealth + Telehealth World 2017
July 24, 2017

More about Mistreated

Why We Think We’re Getting Good Health Care—and Why We’re Usually Wrong

By Robert Pearl, MD

The biggest problem in American health care is us

Do you know how to tell good health care from bad health care? Guess again. As patients, we wrongly assume the “best” care is dependent mainly on the newest medications, the most complex treatments, and the smartest doctors.

Americans look for health-care solutions in the wrong places. For example, hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved each year if doctors reduced common errors and maximized preventive medicine.

For Dr. Robert Pearl, these kinds of mistakes are a matter of professional importance, but also personal significance: he lost his own father due in part to poor communication and treatment planning by doctors. Consumers make costly mistakes too. We demand modern information technology from our banks, airlines, and retailers, but we passively accept last century’s technology in our health care.

Solving the challenges of health care starts with understanding these problems. Mistreated explains why subconscious misperceptions are so common in medicine, and shows how modifying the structure, technology, financing, and leadership of American health care could radically improve quality outcomes. This important book proves we can overcome our fears and faulty assumptions, and provides a roadmap for a better, healthier future.

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook on May 2, 2017

Mistreated: Why We Think We're Getting Good Health Care—and Why We're Usually Wrong
Mistreated: Why We Think We're Getting Good Health Care—and Why We're Usually WrongBy Robert Pearl, MD

Praise for Mistreated

  • Mistreated is a brilliant and original analysis from one of medicine’s most insightful leaders. The doctor is in.

    Malcolm Gladwell bestselling author of David and Goliath
  • Mistreated is a power read, an incredible insight into American healthcare. Robert Pearl is a wonderful writer.

    Abraham Verghese, MD professor of medicine, Stanford University, and author of Cutting for Stone
  • If you want to understand how to fix healthcare, listen to Robert Pearl: he knows.

    Chip Heath coauthor of Switch and Decisive
  • Dr. Robert Pearl lays bare the shortsightedness of the broken U.S. healthcare system, why we resist better science, newer technology, and reform.

    Elisabeth Rosenthal editor in chief of Kaiser Health News
  • Pearl is a leader who transformed his own health system — he offers that experience to show everyone the way.

    Atul Gawande bestselling author of Being Mortal
  • Everyone — healthcare professionals and those who rely on them — should read this book and heed its advice. Now is our time to transform healthcare.

    John Chambers Executive Chairman, Cisco


Robert Pearl, MD

Robert Pearl, MD, is the chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), a coalition of multi-specialty medical groups and health systems. CAPP groups include the Mayo Clinic, Geisinger, Intermountain Health and the Permanente Medical Groups.

Dr. Pearl served for 18 years as the executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, which is responsible for the health care of 4.1 million Kaiser Permanente members in California, and the president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group with 700,000 members in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Selected by Modern Healthcare aboth one of the most powerful health care leaders in the nation and one of the most influential physician executives, Dr. Pearl keynotes approximately 15 events per year for audiences of up to 10K, hosted by organizations such as at the New England Journal of Medicine. He is on faculty at both the Stanford Business and Medical Schools and has taught at Duke, UC Berkeley, and Harvard.

His column on on the business and culture of health care includes articles such as a conversation with Malcolm Gladwell, which received over 500K views. Dr. Pearl has been featured in media outlets including CNBC, CBS This Morning, Fox, ABC News, USA Today, Time, and NPR.

Upcoming Events

Dr. Pearl speaks frequently on these main topics:
  • Americans spend the most money on healthcare, yet our quality outcomes are low. Why? How context shapes perception and shifts behavior.
  • The impact of the ACA on health care and what future legislation may mean.
  • The powerful structural pillars on which to create the healthcare system of the future.

He is a featured keynote speaker at the following events.

July 24, 2017

Boston, MA

Mistreated, a book by Robert Pearl, MD

Care delivered through technology is shifting from an added benefit to a standard model of delivering health care. At mHealth + Telehealth World 2017 attendees learn strategies to keep up with this trend and understand the impact connected health will have on the future of health care. In his opening keynote, Dr. Pearl will discuss how to “Build a Fully Integrated, Technology-Enabled, Physician-Led Connected Care Program.”

September 14 – 15, 2017

Stanford, CA

Stanford Medicine X logo

Stanford Medicine X is a multifaceted program that represents a new way of solving health care’s most pressing problems. Medicine X is an innovative way of re-imagining digital health, medical education, clinical research, new health care venture formation, and the future of health care. Dr. Pearl will be a featured keynote speaker on September 15th.

September 24 – 27, 2017

Orlando, FL

SHSMD Conference page header

AHA’s Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) is proud to host the premier conference for healthcare marketing, public relations and communications, and strategic planning professionals in Orlando September 24–27, 2017: SHSMD Connections.

September 27 – 19, 2017

Rochester, MN

Mayo Clinic's Transform Conference 2017

We are at a critical moment. The transition to value based payment, political and policy uncertainty, affordability, and access is challenging patients, providers, payers, communities, and systems. Often, we are missing the point. Transform 2017 will focus on closing the gap between people and health. The conference emphasizes the human perspective as a compass to understand and navigate pivotal issues and boldly create a sustainable future for health care.  Dr. Robert Pearl will speak on September 28th as part of a panel of experts on “Change Agents.”

October 5 – 6, 2017

Washington, D.C.

National Association of AOCs logo

The NAACOS Fall 2017 Conference on October 5 and 6 will draw more than 650 ACO leaders from across the country and will feature presentations from noted ACO experts and CMS officials, as well as opportunities for networking and peer-to-peer learning. NAACOS conferences deliver valuable policy insights and operational strategies for ALL accountable care organizations. Dr. Pearl will be discussing and signing his book, Mistreated.

December 5 – 6, 2017

Arlington, VA

National Health Care Ratings Summit

Never before have consumers had so much information to consider when choosing a doctor or hospital. Health care ratings are transforming the way Americans choose health care and the way providers deliver care. The National Health Care Ratings Summit will bring together purchasers, consumer advocates, ratings organizations, hospital leaders, health plans, policymakers, and other stakeholders to set a course for the future of ratings. Dr. Robert Pearl will be a featured keynote speaker, joining a list of distinguished faculty poised to share innovative thinking and foster discussion around improving the effectiveness of and engagement with health care ratings.

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