Monday, May 03, 2010

A Book To Read

I just finished a book that I have been meaning to read for more than a year now, yes, it feels good.
Doctor Jerome Groopman, wrote a book about how doctors think, and everyone raved about it. doctors, patients, celebrities, media talking heads and many TV persona celebrated the book.

It must have been tough to write this book, as the author needed to stick his neck out to uncover many of the problems that doctors have to tackle in twenty minutes of less. doctors have to sort thought what you tell them is wrong with you, they have to reflect on their education and all established and proper ways to treat you the patient. To be frank there are times where I thought my doctor is thinking to himself/herself "This guy is an idiot"

The book also chronicles a number of cases and diagnoses where doctors have given inaccurate conclusions and where they might have high rate of misdiagnosis. As a patient Dr. Groopman (he had trouble with his right hand) he documents his journey to see four specialists who have came to different diagnoses. Many physicians make hose mistakes even doctors who are renowned in their field. Pam, the author's wife is a physicians as well so you can imagine how valuable she was in the writing to this book.

You can imagine the number of doctors who wanted to keep their identity secret as they shared stories of misdiagnosis. Most of the interviews were conducted with physicians working in the New York and Boston area, some in California as well. I liked the chapter where the author addressed the issue of pharmaceuticals and marketing where some physicians refuse to give in, while others get to see exotic location all paid for.

I found the book to be honest, and passionate. While the author is unafraid to take on bad doctors, he does it in a balanced way as he blames the thinking of the doctor not the doctor's education or credentials. Aside form the heavy dose of medical jargon (the authors explains some of them) I enjoyed the book and I think I now know how to better understand my internist and most importantly how to communicate my problems.

I want to hear more doctors background and their home origin and if that plays a role in how they handle different symptoms. Like if a Haitian doctor would morel likely say to herself "You, wimpy Americans" or if a Spanish speaking patient communicate his problem in English and if that plays a role in doctors not taking a risk on them.

Other shock facotr is about back surgeries in the United States where many of them are conducted not on need basis, but rather on lawsuite basis where some worker might get in an accident and in order to reap better compensation and not to have to work doe the rest of their life, they have a back surgeries. Many doctors go along with the patients desire because they know if they turn the patient down, another doctor down the street would give them the unnecessary surgery.




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