Reader reviews and comments on How Doctors Think, plus links to write your own review.

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How Doctors Think

By Jerome Groopman

How Doctors Think
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Hardcover: Mar 2007,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2008,
    336 pages.

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Vera (05/07/08)

How Doctors Think
This book, while written for the layman, should be required reading for every doctor. The author uses interesting cases to illustrate the many pitfalls that can occur in a physician's thinking. The epilogue is perhaps the most helpful part of the book: questions that patients or their families can ask the doctor which may help him or her redefine the problem. Highly recommended for the general reader.
Melanie (05/07/08)

How Doctors Think
This is a very enlightening read and gives a lot of insight into how physicians work through a patient's problems. It also illustrates how doctors are also human and therefore not immune to making mistakes or errors in judgment. The book gives useful suggestions on how to communicate more effectively with doctors and highlighted some issues I'd never even considered.
Susan (05/07/08)

Hard to Diagnose
The difficult to diagnose patient is often the least favorite patient. Especially in the emergency room. But, if you or loved ones have ever had an illusive or obscure illness, as I have had, you will appreciate this book.

One of the physicians mentioned in this book after hearing the symptoms, would ask herself: 'What else could this be?" Thereby possibly getting the real diagnosis and/or saving her patient unnecessary surgery.

I recommend this book for doctors and patients.
Gail (05/07/08)

An Important Book
This book should be required reading for everyone! Since we all have been patients at one time or another, this book can guide us in getting better medical care in a system that is often overworked with doctors who don't have the time for complex cases. As someone who can relate to some of the patients' experiences with misdiagnoses and dismissals that it's "merely stress", I can now understand why some medical professionals act the way they do.

It's unfortunate that the patient and their family have to be the ones who need to evaluate the treatment and attitude of the doctor, but it is empowering to know the right questions to ask to help the doctor better evaluate the situation.

This book is a must read for both the layman and the doctor. If it were required reading as part of a doctor's training, it could result in patients receiving better medical care. I recommend this book without exception.
Andrea (05/07/08)

A look into your doctor's mind
This book should be read not only by patients and their families, but by doctors. There are many wonderful doctors in the field, but at this book points out, they are under pressure from economic forces to see more patients and spend less time with them. Hence, many of the mistakes detailed in this book are made. Groopman tells of errors made and the possible reasons why the doctor thought that way.

The most valuable part of this book maybe the last chapter, which gives concrete advice to patients and their families about asking the right questions to get their doctor to think about their symptoms in different ways when a diagnosis and treatment cannot be reached.

Groopman writes in a way that is not preachy, not too difficult for laymen but complex enough that physicians will want to read it. He says in the afterword, new to the paperback edition, that he got great feedback from his fellow doctors. This should be standard reading at all medical schools!
Mary (05/07/08)

Understanding the Medical Profession
Dr. Groopman states that in order to to get a patient's information, he must "establish rapport with the patient". In today's hurried world, how does one and how can one establish that necessary and needed rapport? Dr. Groopman gives many insights to this problem as well as medical school training and doctors not being able to "think outside the box" in making diagnoses.

While this book was written for lay people, I feel it should be mandatory reading for every med student, current practitioners and medical school professors.

This book is a keeper on my bookshelf!
Kenneth (05/07/08)

How Doctors Think (or don't think)
This 270 page book is about how doctors diagnose and decide on a course of treatment; it deals mostly with major medical problems. Chapters deal with cancer, heart problems, radiologists' accuracy in reading X-rays etc., a case involving a Vietnamese adoption and spirituality, hormone replacement, pharmaceutical/ethical issues i.e., lots of interesting stuff. The cases are real and some of the percent accuracies are disturbing to say the least. Groopman advocates for aggressive, involved patients, those who question and challenge - for their own protection. I'd recommend buying this book, particularly those of you who, like me, are on the dark side of 50. Even if you do not read it, keep it handy as a reference book. If you or a loved one are diagnosed with a serious illness I would strongly recommend reading the appropriate chapter from this book as a starting point.
Rosemary (05/07/08)

How Doctors Think
This is a must read for anyone who is dealing with a health problem or knows of someone who doesn't feel that they have been properly diagnosed. The author describes the forces and thought processes behind the decisions doctors make, often driven by the fear of failure, pressure from insurance and pharmaceutical companies, patient overload, and money.

The book cites examples describing why some doctors succeed and others err, but also shows how we can help doctors avoid snap judgments, acknowledge uncertainty, communicate effectively and deploy other skills that can impact our health. Most informative was the ways in which we, the patient, can help the physician look "outside the box" when a diagnosis doesn't seem to fit us or a loved one.

I found the book very informative and feel that it has given me an insight in how to communicate better with my doctor and also ask the right questions should the need arise.
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