When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests

Drs. Leana Wen and Joshua Kosowsky. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-59491-6
Doctors Wen and Kosowsky (Pocket Emergency Medicine, co-editor) nudge the medical “consumer empowerment movement” forward with this provocative dialogic guide to help patients get the right diagnosis and treatment while avoiding the pitfalls of formulaic “cookbook” medicine. It all starts with an open conversation, the pair assert—much like the banter between car owner and mechanic on NPR’s popular Car Talk program—and ends with an active M.D.-patient partnership. “You are the key to your own health, and you have to help your doctor help you,” the duo insist. Recounted are hair-raising stories of patients who bore the brunt of doctors leaping to “worst-case reasoning” instead of listening to what their patients were telling them, like Jerry the car mechanic with a pulled muscle who was treated for a heart attack. The team warns consumers that the transformation from passive recipient of medical care to active partner won’t be easy, but provide plenty of how-tos in their “8 Pillars” toward building a patient-doctor partnership. Theirs is an urgent call to action for patients, and a stark heads-up for doctors and the troubled healthcare industry they serve. 4 graphs. Agent: Jessica Papin, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 01/15/2013
Paperback - 334 pages - 978-1-250-04848-6
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