Synopses & Reviews
A New Yorker
staff writer, bestselling author, and professor at Harvard Medical School unravels the mystery of how doctors figure out the best treatments—or fail to do so. This book describes the warning signs of flawed medical thinking and offers intelligent questions patients can ask.
On average, a physician will interrupt a patient describing her symptoms within eighteen seconds. In that short time, many doctors decide on the likely diagnosis and best treatment. Often, decisions made this way are correct, but at crucial moments they can also be wrong—with catastrophic consequences. In this myth-shattering book, Jerome Groopman pinpoints the forces and thought processes behind the decisions doctors make. He explores why doctors err and shows when and how they can— with our help—avoid snap judgments, embrace uncertainty, communicate effectively, and deploy other skills that can have a profound impact on our health. This book is the first to describe in detail the warning signs of erroneous medical thinking, offering direct, intelligent questions patients can ask their doctors to help them get back on track.
Groopman draws on a wealth of research, extensive interviews with some of the country's best physicians, and his own experiences as a doctor and as a patient. He has learned many of the lessons in this book the hard way, from his own mistakes and from errors his doctors made in treating his own debilitating medical problems.
How Doctors Think reveals a profound new view of twenty-first-century medical practice, giving doctors and patients the vital information they need to make better judgments together.
"'Drawing on both personal experience and extensive field research, Dr. Groopman sheds light on the faulty decision making that leads otherwise competent physicians down the wrong path in diagnosing and treating their patients. Groopman stresses the imperative for his colleagues to balance clinical formulas and data with keen insight and for patients to engage their physicians in active dialogue. Like the heroic fictional doctors in prime-time television medical dramas, Groopman advances a humane, patient-focused agenda that flies in the face of the bureaucratic, institutional establishment, but refreshingly, he manages to steer clear of pat answers and smug solutions that characterize much of the popular media's take on health care. With more than 450 titles under his belt, accomplished narrator Michael Prichard exhibits a calm, authoritative command of the material. His less-is-more approach to conveying emotion may strike some listeners as detached and lacking passion, but his steady performance fits nicely with Groopman's sensitive but still highly inquisitive exploration of life and death questions. Simultaneous release with the Houghton Mifflin hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 29). (June) ' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Direct and honest...Groopman [is] at the peak of his form, as a physician and as a writer." ---The New York Times
"I was fascinated, disturbed and captivated…. 'How Doctors Think' is a solid, well-considered prescription for doctors and their patients to read." ---Los Angeles Times
A New Yorker staff writer, bestselling author, and professor at Harvard Medical School unravels the mystery of how doctors figure out the best treatments—or fail to do so. This book describes the warning signs of flawed medical thinking and offers intelligent questions patients can ask.
About the Author
Jerome Groopman, M.D., holds the Dina and Raphael Recanati Chair of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is chief of experimental medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. A staff writer for The New Yorker, he is the author of How Doctors Think, The Anatomy of Hope, Second Opinions, The Measure of Our Days, and other books.Narrator Michael Prichard is a Los Angeles-based actor who has recorded more than 350 audiobooks including novels by Clive Cussler and Tom Glancy. He recently was named one of Smart Money's Top Ten Golden Voices.