Your doctor suggests you take a drug to lower your blood pressure, but you’ve read that it has risky side effects for some patients. Do you take the drug given the risks it entails, or do you risk living with high blood pressure? The answers to questions like this can be maddeningly—even dangerously—elusive, because our best interests are often hidden by our doctors’ preferences, drug companies’ propaganda, the vagaries of the healthcare system, and especially by our own anxieties, ideals, personal histories, and cognitive foibles.
As patients, each of us falls at some point along each of three spectrums: believer vs. doubter, naturalistic vs. technological, and narrative vs. numbers (that is, some put their faith in stories, others in statistics). Knowing where our personalities place us along these spectrums allows us to determine whether, say, a wait-and-see approach might make us feel better, physically and psychologically, than an intensive treatment, or whether our doctor is well or poorly suited to our needs and attitudes. Crucially, understanding our own personalities also alerts us to cognitive obstacles that might trip us up while making decisions about our care.
Drs. Groopman and Hartzband provide groundbreaking guidance any patient can use to tailor their medical choices to their own physical and emotional needs.
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For patient engagement, a must read
- e-Patient Dave
Big help to me
I have had two big decisions to make about medical treatment for myself this year. I have made those decisions with the help of this book. I have great trouble actually reading self help books. I like to read to escape my own life and venture into other lives, but the information to be found here is most valuable. Doctors have so little time to spend with their patients these days and most are not as skilled as these two. Thank you, doctors Groopman and Hartzband. The readers have done an excellent job as well.
- Likes Books A Lot