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
World Health Care Congress
April 30 – May 3, 2017
Health Care Innovator
Better Together Health 2017
All Systems Go! Closing the Gaps in Cancer Care
May 24, 2017
Center for Total Health, Washington D.C.

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. But 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. And 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 Gladwellbestselling author of David and Goliath
  • Mistreated is a power read, an incredible insight into American healthcare. Robert Pearl is a wonderful writer.

    Abraham Verghese, MDprofessor 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 Heathcoauthor 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 Rosenthaleditor 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 Gawandebestselling 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 ChambersExecutive Chairman, Cisco


Robert Pearl, MD

Dr. Robert Pearl is Executive Director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and President and CEO of the Mid­Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, and chair of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices. Dr. Pearl is responsible for the health care that is delivered to approximately 4 million Kaiser Permanente patients in the states of California, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and oversees the work of over 9,000 physicians and 34,000 staff.

Board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Pearl currently serves on the faculty as a Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery. He is also on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches courses on strategy, leadership and health care technology.

Selected by Modern Healthcare as one of the most powerful physician leaders in the nation, Dr. Pearl has published more than 100 articles in various medical journals and has been a contributor to many books. He has made over 100 presentations at national meetings in the areas of both clinical medicine and medical economics.

Dr. Pearl is a frequent lecturer on the opportunities to use 21st century tools and technology to improve both the quality and cost of health care, while simultaneously making care more convenient and personalized. As a regular contributor to, Dr. Pearl publishes a weekly blog on the nexus of health care and business. He is an advocate for the power of integrated, prepaid and technologically enabled health care delivery systems, and has been featured in media outlets such as Time, USA Today, ABC News, and NPR.

Upcoming Events

May 24, 2017

Washington D.C.

Mistreated, a book by Robert Pearl, MD

As chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), Dr. Pearl hosts Better Together Health, an annual event that strives to elevate the voices of physicians and patients in the national debate on health care reform. The 2017 event All Systems Go! Closing the Gaps on Cancer Care will be co-hosted by the American Cancer Society.

April 30 – May 3, 2017

Washington D.C.

14th Annual World Health Care Congress banner

Dr. Pearl has been a featured speaker and/or panelist at the annual World Health Congress for several years. Once again, he will be a keynote panelist on May 1, 2017, to discuss Policy and Market Forces Impacting Health Care.

July 24 – 25, 2017


Mistreated, a book by Robert Pearl, MD

mHealth and Telehealth World 2017 is a summit wherein healthcare executives discuss and share strategies on the impact of technology on the future of healthcare. Dr. Pearl, a faculty member of the Summit, will be speaking on his experiences in implementing healthcare technology innovations.

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