Your Medical Mind

  • by Jerome Groopman, Pamela Hartzband
  • Narrated by Linda Emond, Cotter Smith
  • 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

For patient engagement, a must read

I think anyone who wants to understand making the realities of making medical decisions needs to understand the cases in this book. No simple answers here, and that's the point.

I'm deeply into the fields of shared decision making and patient autonomy, from the patient's perspective and as co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine. This isn't a lightweight book - the issues and cases presented are serious and thought provoking, at times heart-breaking - but it's highly readable and, as with Groopman's other books I've read (Anatomy of Hope, How Doctors Think), eminently understandable.

I like that he's joined here by his wife, also an MD, and that they start by sharing their own different preferences in decision making, arising out of their different upbringings.

They present principles and challenges, and then illustrate them with cases. Each is presented as it unfolded in reality, with no certainty about how things would go - because that's how it is in real time, for both the physician and the patient. (Any physician who asserts certainty is either blowing smoke, or lying, or misguided in his/her own sureness, because *nothing* is absolutely certain.)

At times I picked up what seemed to be signals that not every doctor who urges you to do something may be acting with *your* interests as the #1 priority. That can add to the reality of the uncertainty you face. But even in the best of circumstances, as you face decisions and plan for your own end of life, you just don't know, and it's best for all to understand this as part of the fabric of life.
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- e-Patient Dave "(Dave)"

Your medical mind

I am guessing that you are like me and have hit some obstacle and need information. For me the obstacle came in the form of someone close with severe medical problems. Read books on how doctors think, how hospitals work, malpractice and so on. This book helps you decide what is right for you, medically, and making those decisions. I can't be objective about this book because I needed something to help my decision making in medical matters. This book helped my perspective and helped give me the tools and the outlook to take matters in hand. This book helped me balance decision making while taking in other related matters and combining the information. I am glad I read this book.
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- Amazon Customer "Osprey"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio