Examining Your Doctor: A Patient's Guide to Avoiding Harmful Medical Care

Timothy B. McCall, Author, Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., Author
Timothy B. McCall, Author, Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., Author Carol Publishing Corporation $22.5 (384p) ISBN 978-1-55972-282-7
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Many readers are likely to support McCall's observations that some health care providers are incompetent or disinterested in preventive medicine, that drugs are often overprescribed and tests unnecessarily administered. But his book is not a trashing of the modern American health care system. A Boston physician in private practice, McCall focuses on patient education as a means to balance the often lopsided power equation of patient and physician. Emphasizing the importance of ongoing patient/physician dialogue, the need for second opinions and the importance of a patient's trust in his physician, he offers charts to help evaluate one's health care provider. Besides acknowledging the existence of many individual ``Dr. Wrongs,'' McCall also points to problems in the system, e.g., HMOs that penalize member physicians for ordering necessary but expensive tests and hospitals that may have to discharge patients before they are well. McCall encourages patients to educate themselves about their own health to improve their opportunity for receiving high-quality care. Special interest organizations and other sources of information on specific medical conditions are included. (July)
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