Doc-Related: A Physician's Guide to Fixing Our Ailing Health Care System

“Comedians have become the truth-tellers. Satire allows you to say almost anything. That’s where truth is spoken to power in our society. When you sugarcoat a bitter truth with humor, it makes the medicine go down.”
—Malcolm Gladwell

Much in the way the comic strip, Dilbert, taught us about corporate office culture, Doc-Related now takes us behind the clinic doors of today’s ailing US healthcare system. A medley of anecdotes, comics, and data-backed musings, Doc-Related’s “truth-tellers” turn out to be a half-dozen characters you will surely recognize. Why? Because author, Dr. Peter Valenzuela, has literally created them from his 20-year experience as a practicing family physician and health system executive

Whether you’re one of the 16 million Americans who work in the US healthcare industry, or simply someone who has tried to navigate its bureaucratic maze of insurance plans or electronic record systems—Doc-Related will help you see these challenges in a new light.

Praise For Doc-Related

Karen Wiener, MD, MMM, Chief Executive Officer for Oregon Medical Group

"Capturing with humor the absurdities of today's healthcare system is no easy task. Dr. Valenzuela does just that with his crew of characters simply trying to get through their days in clinic. Finding humor in the chaos requires a level of self-awareness and humility that can be difficult to find in administrative leaders and physicians alike, but we would all benefit from more of both. As a physician-turned-senior executive myself, I found his overview of the business of healthcare in each chapter to be informative and concise. Dr. Valenzuela also offers potential solutions to the problems that clog our system. If you ever wondered why it is so hard to learn in advance what your medical care might cost you and what will be covered by insurance, this book will shed some light.... it may also make you want to give your doctors an empathetic hug next time you see them!"

Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, best-selling author of Back to Balance and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association

“Doc-Related is an exceptionally fun and timely read, perfectly delivered while America is suffering through the ‘post-pandemic’ burnout and the Great Resignation. It uses humor and compassion to illustrate the problems that are challenging our system in ways that are thought-provoking. Dr. Valenzuela’s storytelling gift is the ability to share the occasional ridiculousness of the complexity of medical practice in a way that gives everyone a personalized “peek behind the curtain” to everyone who touches healthcare, whether you are a physician, administrator, or patient. I loved the stories, the cartoons, and the hope this book represents.”

Paul DeChant, MD, author of Preventing Physician Burnout, principal & CEO, Paul DeChant, MD, MBA, LLC

“Dr Valenzuela has created an insightful, approachable, and funny resource for anyone in healthcare or wanting to gain a better understanding of the dynamics that impact patient care. His experience in multiple roles in healthcare organizations shows with spot-on depictions of administrators and physicians, all trying to cope with the craziness that pervades modern healthcare. The vignettes depicted in the strips bring to life the drivers of burnout that frustrate clinicians and administrators alike. If you are looking to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics in our healthcare ecosystem, or simply looking for a good laugh, I highly recommend Doc Related!”

Stephen Beeson MD, bestselling author Engaging Physicians and founder of Practicing Excellence

"I found myself nodding, laughing and whispering, YES to myself as I read Peter’s wonderful new book, Doc-Related. It is an incredible primer on the biggest challenges in healthcare, blended with real life leader insights, funny reflections and actionable solutions for all of us tackling leader, team engagement and operational challenges issues in healthcare now. Peter’s unique perspective of family medicine physician, and physician leader brings incredibly practical wisdom and actionable approaches to our big rock problems. Loved it!"

Quint Studer, bestselling author of The Calling and Healing Physician Burnout

"Practicing medicine is a stressful job. Add in all the other moving parts—and consider that doctors have huge responsibilities yet little control over their daily lives—and you can see why it’s a recipe for burnout. Doc-Related captures the complexities of a physician’s world in a super funny way. It’s rare that an author is able to shed light on a serious subject, provide great tactical advice, and make the reader laugh, but Dr. Valenzuela has done all three."

Dr. Zubin Damania (AKA ZDoggMD)

"Dr. Valenzuela takes much-needed aim at the painful absurdities of our current healthcare system using the most incisive tool possible: humor. For those slaving away in the trenches of medicine or struggling to keep the lights on in administration, Doc Related is the perfect way to laugh so we don’t have to cry. By hilariously highlighting our most insidious problems, he just might open some minds to real solutions."

Dana Corriel, MD, Founder of Doctors on Social Media

"Dr. Valenzuela has been sharing thought-provoking comic strips with the SoMeDocs audience for years and continues to hit the nail on the head when he does. His strips really hit home where it comes to the frustrating aspects of our healthcare system, and the comedic twist helps. I’m thrilled to see his work now fill the pages of a book we can all carry around with us, wherever we go."

Tom Banning, CEO of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians

“Dr. Valenzuela adeptly employs his sharp sense of humor to answer the question of why “nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.” Doc-Related gives firsthand insights into our crazy and irrational health care system and is a must read for anyone trying to understand and fix the bureaucratic mess medicine has evolved into....”

Erik Wahl, artist and bestselling author of Unthink and The Spark and the Grind

"Doc Related is the “medical textbook” to unleash the power of LOL to unlock the serious subject of providing quality care for those in need."