With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, a new book by Reed Tuckson, M.D., executive vice president and chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), aims to put the power of healthy aging in the hands of average Americans.
"The Doctor in the Mirror" is based on a simple premise: while preventive care and regular doctor visits are vital to health, the key to much of our wellness is in our hands. The book encourages readers to recognize the doctor in the mirror, or "Dr. You," and provides information, strategies, ideas and resources designed to help older adults age with vitality.
As a precursor to the availability of "The Doctor in the Mirror" in soft-cover and digital versions on Dec. 27, a 1-hour PBS special of the same name aired in more than 30 markets across the country in November and December. During the special, Dr. Tuckson shared many of the concepts addressed in the book before a studio audience.
Dr. Tuckson developed "The Doctor in the Mirror" to share his common-sense recommendations for living a longer, healthier life more broadly. The counsel he shares in the book's pages is based on his four decades of experience as a physician, including serving in a leadership role with the American Medical Association and as the commissioner of public health for the District of Columbia. In his current role, Dr. Tuckson has a national view of health issues facing more than 75 million people served by UnitedHealth Group.
A companion website, http://www.doctorinthemirror.com/, provides additional information and resources and allows visitors to share their questions about health and aging, as well as relevant personal stories on overcoming barriers and achieving personal health goals.
"One of the most often-overlooked medical truths is that no one knows what's going on inside a person's body or mind like that person does. In a culture that rightfully gives such reverence to our health professionals, that’s a powerful concept that gives many people pause," said Dr. Tuckson. "I wrote this book to help people understand that one of the most capable doctors they'll ever meet is right there in the mirror. It is my hope that the information and practical tools in the book will help people recognize the barriers that stand between them and better health and help them learn how to pull them down, brick by brick."
Comprehensive in nature, the 359-page book is divided into three sections that focus on the areas that have the greatest impact on the health of older adults: lifestyle, medical needs, and home and family. Each section delves deeply into the health concerns that most often plague older adults.
Throughout the pages of the book, Dr. Tuckson urges readers to be honest with themselves about the life they want to live and the health they need to achieve it. He encourages people to understand the relationship and interactions they have with friends, family, their community and the health system, and what is necessary from these relationships to achieve individual health goals.
Compelling visuals as well as "Medical Notes" and "Doctor's Orders" are incorporated throughout the book, which transforms it into a guide that is intended to be referenced and re-read as needed over the years.
"The Doctor in the Mirror" became available in paperback and eBook format at Amazon.com on Dec. 27. For more information, visit http://www.doctorinthemirror.com/.
About Reed Tuckson, M.D., FACP
Reed Tuckson, M.D., a graduate of Howard University, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s General Internal Medicine residency and fellowship programs, is executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 50 diversified health and well-being company. As the most senior clinician of UnitedHealth Group, he is responsible for working with the company’s business units, as well as a network of 600,000 health care providers, 5,000 hospitals and 75 million members to improve health outcomes.
Dr. Tuckson has extensive experience working with the nation's physicians as the former senior vice president, professional standards, for the American Medical Association. He also has experience in educating physicians as the former president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. He has worked to improve the health of communities as the former senior vice president for programs of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and is the former Commissioner of Public Health for the District of Columbia.
Dr. Tuckson is privileged to interact with the country's medical thought leaders through his memberships and activities in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He expresses his interest in research as a member of the National Institute of Health's Advisory Committee to the Director. Dr. Tuckson has a special interest in applying new medical technology to support optimal patient-centered decision making as a member of numerous Health Information Technology boards and committees, including the American Telemedicine Association. He recently served as a commissioner, Certification Commission on Health Information Technology (CCHIT); and is currently a member of the Performance Measurement Workgroup, Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance (AQA); and the Quality Workgroup, American Health Information Community (AHIC).
Dr. Tuckson serves on the board of directors of the National Patient Advocate Foundation, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and Project Sunshine. Dr. Tuckson was featured on the cover of the February 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine and named one of the "100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America." He was also selected as one of Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician's "50 Most Powerful Physician Executives" in Healthcare in 2009 and 2010.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology- enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/ for more information.