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Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now: Gaining the Upper Hand in Your Medical Care Hardcover – June 3, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1442210592 ISBN-10: 1442210591 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1 edition (June 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442210591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442210592
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The American medical system is a vast, sprawling, complicated thing. It is barely understandable to the physicians who work in it, and totally bewildering to the majority of patients who must use it. Dr. Kussin's book is a hard-headed, practical user's guide for people who want to know how our complicated and messy system works day-to-day in doctors' offices and hospitals. It shows readers how to be savvy, how to be their own best advocate in getting good care and avoiding bad care-in short, how to become proficient in the art of what Dr. Kussin aptly calls "patienthood." (Christopher M. Johnson, M.D.)

Dr. Kussin writes a riveting story of the stark reality when a doctor becomes a patient. He offers advice from both sides of the bedrails on how to navigate a complex system and get the care you need. (Rosemary Gibson)

We're often told these days that we need to advocate for ourselves in the health care arena, but those of us who have tried know that we're likely to end up feeling like David (without his sling). In Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now, Dr. Steven Z. Kussin has given us scores of valuable tools we can use to protect our own health as we encounter the complex health care system. In the bargain, he has also given us a passionate, articulate, and often laugh-out-loud funny book. Doctors as well as patients should read this. (Tom Cathcart)

Primers on how to get the best possible medical care can be boring. This one is not. It opens dramatically, with a teenage driver crashing into the author’s car, which ended his 30 years in clinical practice as a doctor and turned him into a patient. This experience, not just his status as a physician, gives Kussin automatic credibility before he launches into how to choose a doctor and a hospital (the best physician is more important than a big-name medical center) and how to prevent disasters (constant vigilance). Kussin can be scary: 'From the moment you arrive until the second you leave, your hospital, any hospital, is the most unsafe environment most of you will ever enter.' Kussin’s list of possible errors is a long one: accidental punctures during surgery, infections, identity mistakes, and medication errors (six percent of in hospital deaths are, in part, drug-related). He offers advice about how to prevent each horror and reminds us that doctors and insurance companies make mistakes. Kussin’s advice: 'Be nice, be courteous, but be persistent.' This book can save lives. (Booklist (starred review) Booklist, Starred Review)

After a traumatic automobile accident put an end to his career, Dr. Kussin, once a successful gastroenterologist, took on the role of patient, undergoing several surgeries, was confined to a wheelchair and faced prolonged rehabilitation. Although he was regarded as a medical professional by the doctors and nurses who treated him, his long stay in the hospital gave him a new perspective on the problems faced by ordinary patients and their families who are frequently out of the loop on important decisions. He became a close observer of medical errors in his own treatment but more so in that of others patients. According to Kussin's findings, hundreds of thousands die, or are injured each year from preventable error and infection. High on the list is the failure of medical professionals simply to wash their hands and maintain a sanitary environment. As a solution, Kussin recommends a number of low-cost sites where useful medical information can be found. He also discusses criteria for choosing a doctor and a hospital and he reviews the problem of pharmaceutical over-kill. Aimed at those who are well covered by insurance, Kussin offers invaluable advice to help patients and their families be proactive and become their own medical advocates. (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Steven Z. Kussin, M.D., is the founder of the Shared Decision Center of Central New York. He has published scholarly articles in several journals, has been in practice for more than thirty years, and has taught at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has an international following on his blog

Customer Reviews

This book should be put on your "MUST BUY" list: Read it and learn!
Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, this book is written in a style that is personal and, at times, humorous.
Dr. Kussin's book helps patients understand why problems arise within our health care system.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce K. on October 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is about as close to perfect as a patient guide can be. While I initially blanched at paying the hardcover price, I felt by the time that I had finished Chapter 1 that I had already gotten my money's worth. Seriously! Most guides of this sort are written by patients or medical writers. A few have been written by physicians as was this book. Nearly all offer up the promise of giving you the inside scoop in obtaining quality patient care, but of all the books I've read thus far in this area, none have delivered on that promise. At least not until now. Dr. Kussin delivers and for that I am most grateful.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charles G. Gabelman III MD on January 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's human nature, we all want the "deal" the inside track. When we need to purchase jewelry friends and family are queried "do you know someone in the business?' It usually works out better when we find that insider.
As a busy surgeon having operated in many venues with connections to several tertiary centers, I had that inside track. I knew which institutions were hiding behind a crumbling facade of excellence and which were the real centers of excellence. I knew which health care providers,doctors,therapists, and ancillary services were the best and which were mediocre with undeserved glowing reputations. I was that person in the business.
I always made all my knowledge available to friends and family over the years. But more importantly when I became ill and had to make life changing decisions, my knowledge of the healthcare system helped me safely navigate through the treacherous waters, getting the best of care with the aid of many other health care friends.(SZK)
In his book, "Doctor Your Patient Will See You Now", Dr.Kussin has given every patient the tools to enter the world of white coats as a knowledgeable consumer. The information in his book makes all patients the insider. With the correct approach and questions all patients can get the "deal",
He gives the patient the tools and information as to how to choose doctors, hospitals and ancillary services with great knowledge and insight. Dr.Kussin informs the patient about which questions to ask and what are good and bad answers. He arms the patient/consumer with the resources to question doctors decisions and when to seek other views by making shared decisions. Dr.Kussin helps us feel safe making choices to stay local or seek tertiary care.
In summary Dr.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charlie on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit that the idea of a patient advisory type of book seemed at first to me to be an item you would wish for as you would a car jack if you had a flat tire. Then once I open the book and read the first few pages, I realized that no one should be without a jack at all times. Same is true for this book.

Now the amazing part is really that the book is so well written that it both captivates and entertains as it teaches.

I find the contradictions in the medical community in terms of care, diagnosis and empathy appalling . I find it bone chilling to realize the level of incompetent care abounds. I find it REFRESHING as a spring breeze to find a patient bible for helping me choose competently when choosing a doctor and or medical care and practices. To be informed when making informed decisions is priceless and there is no time you can't be too prepared.

I am grateful for the broad expanse of subjects covered and the wonderful advise offered in : "Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now: Gaining the Upper Hand in Your Medical Care"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By rlweaverii on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This is a great book full of terrific advice. Like other readers, too, I enjoyed Kussin's sense of humor. It made the reading even more delightful. In addition, his use of examples brilliantly buttresses his ideas, and his exhortations to readers in how to better care for themselves are exemplary -- desperately needed.

I loved Kussin's thesis: Patients need to take responsibility for their doctor's care by questioning a doctor's advice, seeking out additional information, and deciding the best approach regarding their care.

Any book designed to empower citizens/patients should be commended. This is an especially good one because Kussin combines his own experience (more than 30 years in practice) with excellent research (20 pages of notes, 2 pages of bibliography, and 9 pages of an appendix, "Best Medical Websites").

I have three suggestions that will make this book more accessible for members of the general public: 1) Right now, paragraphs are long, and pages are dense and un-inviting. I would suggest making the paragraphs shorter so that when you turn to a page, it is not so daunting and intimidating.

The second suggestion follows directly from the first: 2) Divide the chapters into short sections and add section titles so that material can be read more quickly, and readers can stop reading at any point and take up where they left off in an easy manner. So often, reading is accomplished only in short spurts. Long sections tend to make short spurts difficult.

The third suggestion will also make the book more accessible and readable: 3) Add sections at the end of each chapter that summarize the major findings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Education: Raised in the New York public school system. Attended college at Columbia University and medical school at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Post-graduate training was also completed at Einstein. Hospital experience includes Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx.
"There I learned that I could treat anything (anything!) for at least 15 minutes until the special forces arrived," Dr. Kussin explained. "Knife and gun shot wounds, failed suicide attempts, heroin and alcohol overdoses, psychiatric emergencies and people presenting for the very first time with their diseases to spend the last ten minutes of their lives with me rather than having dropped by ten years earlier when I could have done something for them."

Certifications: Certified in Internal Medicine and attended Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for fellowship in Gastroenterology. Following certification in Gastroenterology, Dr. Kussin served in Manhattan as an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Columbia.

"The dichotomy between a roiling public city hospital and a world class private specialty institution, Sloan Kettering, permitted me a front row seat to the full spectrum of human frailty, folly and foibles," Dr. Kussin said.

Practice: Founded a solo practice in Utica, NY that expanded over time to include several physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. A traumatic car accident ended his clinical career in 2005, sparking his passion for patient advocacy.

Published Work: Dr. Kussin is the author of a book on patient advocacy to be released in August, 2011 through Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. In addition, he was published several times throughout his teaching career in publications including; The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, American Journal of Gastroenterology, Journal of Surgical Oncology, and Digestive Diseases and Sciences.

Dr Kussin Blogs: on

Dr Kussin is an invited Expert on several websites.

Family: Proud father of two sons. Dr. Kussin and his life partner, Annie, divide their time between Clinton and Manhattan, NY.

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