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

Monday, October 3rd, 2011
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.
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.
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Related Reading:
Healthcare of the DIY Kind
Joy Medicine
Eat to Live
Female Brain Gone Insane