• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: The Penguin Press (September 20, 2011)
Making the right medical choices is harder than ever. Whether we’re deciding to take a cholesterol drug or choosing a cancer treatment, we are overwhelmed by information from all sides: our doctors’ recommendations, dissenting expert opinions, confusing statistics, conflicting media reports, the advice of friends, claims on the Internet, and a never-ending stream of drug company ads. Your Medical Mind shows us how to chart a clear path through this sea of confusion.
Drs. Groopman and Hartzband reveal that each of us has a set of deeply rooted beliefs whose profound influence we may not realize when we make medical decisions. How much trust we place in authority figures, in statistics, or in other patients’ stories, in science and technology or in natural healing, and whether we seek the most or the least treatment-all are key factors that shape our choices. Recognizing our preferences and the external factors that might lead our thinking astray can make a dramatic, even lifesaving, difference in our medical decision making. When conflicting information pulls us back and forth between options, when we feel pressured by doctors or loved ones to make a particular choice, or when we have no previous experience to guide us through a crisis, Your Medical Mind will prove an essential companion.
The authors interviewed scores of patients who have struggled with situations such as these. They also drew on research and insights from doctors, psychologists, economists, and other experts to help reveal the array of forces that can aid or impede our thinking. They show us the subtle strategies drug advertisers use to influence our choices: they unveil the extreme-sometimes dangerously misleading-power of both narratives and statistics. And they help us understand how to improve upon a universal human shortcoming- assessing the future impact of the decisions we make now.
Jerome Groopman, a New Yorker writer and bestselling author, is an oncologist who guides his patients through life-or-death decisions. Pamela Hartzband is a noted endocrinologist and educator at Harvard Medical School who helps patients make critical decisions about their long-term health. As patients, the authors have very different preferences, yet they are united when conveying the book’s groundbreaking message: we can cut through the confusion and arrive at decisions that serve us best.
Jerome Groopman, MD, and Pamela Hartzband, MD, are on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and on the staff of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, both in Boston. They have collaborated on articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New England Journal of Medicine, among other publications. Groopman, a staff writer for The New Yorker, is the author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller How Doctors Think.
Jerome’s and Pamela’s Tour Stops
Wednesday, September 21st: e-Patients
Thursday, September 22nd: Wandering Thoughts of a Scientific Housewife
Friday, September 23rd: Common Sense Family Doctor – review cross posted at The Health Care Blog
Wednesday, September 28th: Prepared Patient Forum
Monday, October 3rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday,October 3rd: Laika’s MediLibBlog
Tuesday, October 4th: Today’s Path
Thursday, October 6th: Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms
Friday, October 7th: HIStalk
Tuesday, October 18th: Overstuffed
Thursday, October 20th: Somebody Heal Me.com
Monday, October 24th: Diabetes Mine