Hippocrasy: How doctors have betrayed their oath

Rachelle Buchbinder and Ian Harris

Two world-leading doctors reveal the true state of modern medicine and how doctors are letting their patients down.

In Hippocrasy, rheumatologist and epidemiologist Rachelle Buchbinder and orthopaedic surgeon Ian Harris argue that the benefits of medical treatments are often wildly overstated and the harms understated. That overtreatment and overdiagnosis are rife. And the medical system is not fit for purpose: designed to deliver health care not health.

This powerful exposé reveals the tests, drugs and treatments that provide little or no benefit for patients and the inherent problem of a medical system based on treating rather than preventing illness. The book also provides tips to empower patients – do I really need this treatment? What are the risks? Are there simpler, safer options? What happens if I do nothing? Plus solutions to help restructure how medicine is delivered to help doctors live up to their Hippocratic Oath.

One of the hardest things for a doctor to do ... is nothing. This superb book explains how in medicine and surgery less is often not just more, it’s closer to the oath we’re all supposed to practise by.

- Norman Swan


Rachelle Buchbinder and Ian Harris

BUCHBINDER is an internationally renowned leader in rheumatology. HARRIS is an orthopaedic surgeon.

NewSouth Publishing

NewSouth Publishing is the publishing division of UNSW Press Ltd, a leading Australian university press.