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Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis Paperback – September 21, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
It turns out that the things we patients secretly crave from our doctors--eye contact, focused conversation, LISTENING, the reassuring touch of the physician's educated hands on our painful abdomens or dislocated shoulders--are also the most vital tools of a truly great diagnostician. Of course we're grateful for medical technology, but as Dr. Sanders so brilliantly argues, these technical advancements work best when physicians' own powers of observation--and yes, intuition--are also fully engaged.
The last chapter is a dramatic departure from the rest of the book. Here Dr. Sanders tells us a very personal diagnosis story, one involving the untimely death of her younger sister. The gift of such an intimate conclusion reminds the reader of the humane impulse that so clearly motivated its author on every preceding page.
This book may be a disappointment to those led by the title and blurbs on the covers to expect a book just about diagnostic stories, something akin to a compendium of the monthly "Vital Signs" column in Discover magazine. For those concerned about health care issues, though, it provides a thorough background into an area of medicine and insight into the debate over the growing use of expensive tests. The worrisome aspect of this book comes because once you understand the importance of a careful exam, you realize that not only is it being abandoned wholesale by the profession even when it should be retained, you have no way to know whether your doctor is any good at it.
One positive sign related in this book is the renewed interest among medical faculty of the importance of careful physical exams. Doctors must now show proficiency in order to be licensed.Read more ›
Thus, this book is both about medical diagnoses, but it also raises important questions about medical practices that are of interest generally, but i believe would be of interest to and resonate with doctors as well.
The book is very well written. It is clear, concise, and personal.
It also gives a nice depth for how I will look at House when the new season begins. (Perhaps with more medicine and less drama, I hope).
My biggest complaint about the book? Sequel isn't ready yet. Finished it in a day, and would like to read more.
Altogether, a great read. Get it.
The subtitle promises that the book is full of medical mysteries, and indeed, the stories in the book about people with strange collections of symptoms whose illnesses proved very hard to figure out are as compelling as I expected.
The problem is that these stories are not quite what the book is about. It's as if the author started to write a book about medical mysteries and then got sidetracked. The digressions are about interesting and important issues (why the physical exam is something of a lost art and what this might mean for the practice of medicine, for example). However, they don't fit into the book as it's designed and as it presents itself. It's as if you went to see what you expected to be a romantic comedy film and found yourself faced with something that started out sort of like "When Harry Met Sally", where the middle portion of the movie was more like "Midnight Express", with a few scenes pulled from "The Sound of Music", and then the ending of Harry and Sally, followed by a fragment from a lecture on Plato.
It's not that all the parts aren't worthy themselves. It's that they by no means make a coherent narrative. Worse, imagine that the director, writer, and actors in the mish-mosh movie insisted that it was simply a romantic comedy. That the detective stories are the best parts of the book makes it worse, in some ways.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book i wished that it never ended, very well written and pleasantly explained. . . . . . .Published 1 month ago by awad bg
I found this book very interesting, and well-written for a book reporting on medical issues. I recommend it to others that enjoy this genre.Published 3 months ago by SRHDDS
Great book! The writer wrote for the series House & gives a great description of wild medical stories that are difficult to diagnose! I love it!Published 4 months ago by Nique
Somewhat disappointing. I love Dr. Sanders' monthly NY Times Magazine column on medical detective work to diagnose odd and elusive illnesses, and so I bought her book expecting a... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Al Richter