Then last summer I injured my FMD-involved carotids by bending my neck too far back and spent a month spinning with the dizzies and falling down. I went to my neurologist's office at a prestigious university research hospital and was sent home with the diagnosis of dehydration! NOT!
Thank God I now have a fantastic GP whom I trust totally and who is willing to research things he doesn't already know, and a team of specialists at Mass General who look after my FMD with great care and expertise.
Finding the right doctor is like finding a good boyfriend. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince! How do you find a good doctor? Or if you're stuck with one who has no bedside manner and won't listen to you, how do you make your relationship work? What, and how, is that doctor thinking?
Dr. Jerome Groopman, M.D., has given us a glimpse of what goes on in the grey matter of a medical professional. Besides revealing what makes a doctor good, he dares to uncover what makes a doctor not so good, why a doctor makes mistakes, or is difficult, arrogant or impatient. How Doctors Think (2007, Mariner Books) is written so that, as patients, we can understand what makes our docs tick and how to get the best care possible. It should be essential reading for medical students and physicians!
Dr. Groopman 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. He is also a writer for The New Yorker and author of several books. His exploration of how doctors think started while he was making rounds with medical students, noticing their reliance on statistics and evidence-based therapies, and their view of patient as "disease" rather than as a unique individual with a life and a purpose. He wanted to determine why there was an absence of heart in the students' approach to medicine.
Through Groopman's many anecdotes and thoughtful examination of what makes doctors tick, the reader gains a better sense of the psychology of medical doctors and how to best approach and maintain a quality relationship with them. The book also empowers the reader to recognize the shortcomings of a doctor, to communicate more clearly with the doctor and to help the doctor communicate more clearly with you. Ultimately, a unique partnership can be formed to support your best interest and best health. Or, otherwise, you will be searching for a better fit for your medical care.
Your first clue as to how a doctor thinks, says Groopman, is how that doctor speaks and listens, paying attention to what is said, as well as the body language. He cites studies that conclude "...how a doctor asks questions and how he (or she) responds to... (a) patient's emotions are both key to what they term 'patient activation and engagement'". (p. 17)
Communication is a two-way street, and how you present information, reveal yourself, and ask questions is also key in developing that partnership. When you have many unexplained symptoms along with what has already been diagnosed, Groopman suggests an important question to ask is, "Is it possible I have more than one problem?" Often we think it but don't verbalize it and leave the office frustrated.
I, unequivocally, recommend this book to all of you. It's about relationship. It's about being your own best advocate. And most importantly, it's about getting the best medical care possible, whether for you or someone you care for.
Thank you to Kari Ulrich from Midwest Women's Vascular Advocates for gifting me with this tremendously enriching book! You can purchase How Doctors Think for Kindle, in paperback and hardcover, and as an audiobook on Amazon.