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Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for YOU ~Jerome Groopman, MD and Pamela Hartzband,MD

Your Medical Mind

Your Medical Mind

What we can learn about Healthcare in the USA is a very personal and important project.  YOUR MEDICAL MIND is another resource in developing more wisdom in making medical systems work for you and yours.

As I was beginning the book, I began thinking that I should tell TLC book tours that I could not give this a positive review because it seemed like the same old, same old information just told from a doctor’s point of view.  Then I decided that there are enough people in the traditional mode with healthcare provided by their employer that there would be a benefit in reading the whole book, and I could speak to that benefit.

Favorite quote:
“Sir William Osler:…when trying to unravel a complex medical diagnosis, you should listen carefully to the patient, because he is telling you the answer.”

I would openly like to say that the people who might benefit most from this book are Physicians as they transition into a world that is making the patient totally responsible for recovery and healing.  After being an advocate for several patients along the way – there are not as many doctors who understand the patients as television would indicate.   Dr. Marcus Welby was truly a fictional character.

My most important takeaways from this book:

  • It was easy to read and a pleasurable read, so the information and message is user friendly
  • The major ways that patients present to the doctor was significant in the details – they used terms like minimalistic approach to maximalistic approaches; believers and doubters; naturalism or technology orientations.  The examples were poignant and believable.
  • How to understand the statistics that a patient is given and how to find more detail about those statistics on the Internet – translators that can assist the patient in finding autonomy within their own healing needs and style.  Tools for making better decisions.
  • The authors had a strong bias against the insurance companies having the largest decision making role.
  • It is important for the patient to learn how to use the internet to assist their outcomes and knowledge base – that excellent communication skills are needed both from the physician and the patient.  This enables the patient to discern what is truly a positive approach to their own healing and recovery.
  • Many people need someone else listening and interpreting for them – an advocate – when the news is something big we often only hear a tiny bit of the diagnosis or recommendation because we emotionally can only absorb so much.  Families need to know and understand what the patient wants for their healing and recovery and how to communicate those decisions.
  • Communication skills and listening skills are getting more limited for all people involved in the medical problem being solved.

The major problem I had with the authors was that they also ignore people who have no medical insurance.  Yes! They casually mention that the number of people who use alternative healing measures is growing but that information is treated as an addendum to traditional medical services.  For many people alternative or ancient medical practices or experiences are all they use.   As insurance companies drop more and more individuals for financial reasons or non-compliant to diagnosis instances, more and more people are working on their own DIY healthcare systems.   I think the book was written before e-patient Dave arrived at the TED lectures.

The book is a valuable resource.   It is helpful in finding a physician one can work with and how to handle the tough decisions from several angles.  It could help you make changes that could add more health and time to your life.   Reading Your Medical Mind is a good healthcare decision.
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Of the styles of healthcare listed here, which is you style and it is the best one for you: minimalistic, maximalistic, believer, doubter, natural or technically in the forefront?  (This question works even if your government pays for your healthcare)   Do you know how to use the Internet to read the statistics and probability or discover new procedures and how to rate them?

I received a copy of the book from TLC book tours and Penguin Press and agreed to review this book.
If you purchase anything from Amazon (except Kindle) from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket

If you liked what you read here you might wish to subscribe by RSS or Email.  You might also wish to explore my other sites:  Biking Architect or Wise Ears.

Related Reading:
Healthcare of the DIY Kind
Joy Medicine
Eat to Live
Female Brain Gone Insane

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14 Responses to “Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for YOU ~Jerome Groopman, MD and Pamela Hartzband,MD”

  1. Sara Says:

    This was an excellent book review and I imagine it wasn’t that easy for you, given the topic. You included the pros and cons and the overview of important information the book gives.

    One thing I would say to anyone who goes shopping for information on the Internet is to BE CAREFUL. YOU MAY SCARE YOURSELF:~) Sometimes, too much information can be dangerous to your well being. I did this once and learned to sift through information and really think about this question: How much do I REALLY want to know? Answering this helps determine how far you want to go in an Internet search.

    Thanks for the review of this book. I still say you are the BEST reviewer I’ve run across:`)
    Sara recently posted..Picture QuoteMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Sara,
    You made me laugh – for I have scared myself several times looking for information on the internet! I hear you.

    I think the book demonstrates how the Internet can be useful and help one understand the dis-ease process and I found it very helpful the information about finding out what a 30% chance of having a heart attack really means – if you choose not to take a statin protocol.

    For the patient in the example, she decided not to take the medications and suffer the side effects because it turned out from charting on the internet that she only had a 3 in 1000 chance of having a heart attack…The patient was able to choose more walking and a bit of a dietary change.
    I think as more folks discover people like e-patient Dave there will be more opportunity to really do DIY healthcare

    Thank you so much for your kind words….I love to read these books and learn more and can help myself…
    I hope a number of Physicians will read this book.

    We all need more listening skills and better communication skills right now – that is where the Internet is fooling us

  2. Jannie Funster Says:

    Very interesting that we are moving towards patient-centered care. A good direction to go in, I think!

    Having no family history of cancers and other hereditary illnesses, I count myself so lucky, and the little things that do ail me from time to time I do try to take the minimalist approach to, and on the natural side.

    I agree with Sara — you are the best reviewer I know!

    xoxo
    Jannie Funster recently posted..Funny, The Things You RememberMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Jannie,
    Yes indeed, count yourself lucky and then educate yourself with all the things we are learning a new.

    When I discovered that cleaning products were allowed in our homes that were extremely harmful to our health – I removed them all and wow did everyone get better and feel better…

    I also think it is becomes a full time job when so many people want to make money off our health and welfare – Greed needs to be tempered…
    I hope you will be able to retire to the Canadian Health care system – although having some financial problems right now…it seems to be a much healthier system to grow old within.

    Thank you too for your kind words….I think loving to read helps, and when I review a novel I just hate it when folks spoil the plot so I keep that in mind when I write a review…what do I want to know about the book and what will make my curious about it enough to purchase it and read it…

    this is definitely a good resource to know about

  3. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    I’m glad you decided to stick with it and give the book a chance. It sounds like it was a worthwhile read even if it did present info that you were already familiar with.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and review this one for the tour.

    Patricia Reply:

    Heather,
    You are welcome and I do believe this is a worthwhile resource for folks to explore.

    It is very well written and I hope my review will get more folks to take a look – Folks really have to be responsible for their own healthcare these day and I do not think they understand.
    Patricia recently posted..Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for YOU ~Jerome Groopman, MD and Pamela Hartzband,MDMy Profile

  4. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia – This was a helpful review, thank you. I appreciate that you now only shared what you liked, but what you didn’t like as well.
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Diggin’ Up BonesMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    Laurie
    I am glad I decided to finish this book because it is full of valuable information and 2 Drs making a good attempt at helping folks cope with medical decisions.

    If I finish a book and I do not like it, I do not review it – I want to keep open to change and opportunity and not promote the negative. So I tend to error on the side of the positive

    I also do not like to spell out the plot of novels – or films other than in the briefest form. Most book reviewers and movie trailers just turn me off these days because they share too much – I like to just have my curiosity aroused

    Thanks for coming by and your good words

  5. J.D. Meier Says:

    > when the news is something big we often only hear a tiny bit of the diagnosis or recommendation because we emotionally can only absorb so much
    It’s ironic that when we need it most, our rational mind is sometimes the least available.
    J.D. Meier recently posted..How to Take the Ordinary and Turn it into EXTRAORDINARY!My Profile

    patricia Reply:

    JD
    You are absolutely correct and I am reading another book right now that is the psychology of why that happens.

    Medical Mind spends a great deal of time in one chapter about medical directives and how families think they know what their loved ones want and do not know what to do when the person is dying and “suddenly” changes their mind about treatment – it is because there is a rush of feelings near the end of life that makes the transition smoother for the dying person, but truly throws the family big problems. Very few people make medical directives in time to truly represent their wishes
    Nice to find your good words here today – thank you for coming by and commenting

  6. Melody | Deliberate Receiving Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    Thanks for this. I think this book represents a great bridge – for doctors who need to learn to listen more to their patients who need to learn to take more responsibility for their own healing. If it included too much information and advocacy of alternative healing practices, it might not appeal to exactly the same audience. Sometimes you have to pick your battles… :)

    Great review and very balanced. I’m especially impressed, because I know this subject matter isn’t an easy one for you to write about. Good for you.

    Hugs,
    Melody
    Melody | Deliberate Receiving recently posted..Indigo Children Part 2 – Stubborn, Intuitive, Demanding Little BastardsMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    Thank you for you good comments Melody and you sensitivity to this issues.

    Yes I think the book has merit and is a worthy effort for those who do have health insurance and Drs do need to read this book and patients do need to take more responsibility for their health – both before they are caught unaware.

    Hope you will come over again to read the Thursday healing book review too…a different story

  7. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia – Been without internet – at library now – for some reason I keep getting cut off with comments before I can hit submit – just know I’m reading and once this whole fiasco is over I’ll be back rambling!
    hugs
    suZen

    patricia Reply:

    Suzen,
    I am sorry about the Internet problem and I do know that comments do not stick too well when at the public computers…I have trouble with my cell phone too.

    I am not worried about you…I know you are around. And what a great review you wrote about this book –