How Patients Should Think: 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Drugs, Tests and Treatment

Ray Moynihan, Author, Melissa Sweet, Author Pegasus $15.95 (234p) ISBN 978-1-60598-047-8

Two words sum up the authors’ advice to patients: be skeptical. Aussie journalists Moynihan (Too Much Medicine? ) and Sweet (coauthor, The Big Fat ) try to channel Jerome Groopman’s bestselling How Doctors Think but wind up wanting. The writers gamely encourage hard-edged skepticism by offering anecdotes of medical mismanagement along with questions and strategies to aid a patient’s decision-making about procedures or medications. “[I]t can be a mistake to sit back and hand over control for our health care,” they caution. This is not a new concept, and there’s certainly no such thing as too much information, but the authors’ assumption that all you have to do is ask the right question to elicit the right answer is troubling. When a practitioner makes a recommendation, it’s a safe bet it’s already his or her best guess. Still, the simple guide to “what to ask” at the end of each chapter will go far to arm the timid or nervous patient with ammunition to open an honest conversation—and the assurance you’re making the most informed decision possible. (June 24)

Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 07/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
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