As with any great work of history, the reader wonders if the clock can be turned back without sacrficing what we have gained. It used to be, shows Starr, that sickness was treated at home; laypeople acted as their own practitioners; and physicians had difficulty maintaining the social prestige that enabled them to set their own fees and wall off outsiders from their guild.
Of course, we wouldn't like to return to all of this. But we could imagine a health care system which involves a multiplicity of certified, qualified providers, and a greater inclusion of common sense which recognizes that for some common and nonserious conditions, a layperson can treat herself at home without any advanced imaging at all.
Can we get there from here?