|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Starred Review. SignatureReviewed by Perri KlassI wish I had read this book when I was in medical school, and I'm glad I've read it now. Most readers will knowJerome Groopman from his essays in the New Yorker, which take on a wide variety of complex medical conditions, evocatively communicating the tensions and emotions of both doctors and patients.But this book is something different: a sustained, incisive and sometimes agonized inquiry into the processes by which medical minds—brilliant, experienced, highly erudite medical minds—synthesize information and understand illness. How Doctors Think is mostly about how these doctors get it right, and about why they sometimes get it wrong: "[m]ost errors are mistakes in thinking. And part of what causes these cognitive errors is our inner feelings, feelings we do not readily admit to and often don't realize." Attribution errors happen when a doctor's diagnostic cogitations are shaped by a particular stereotype. It can be negative: when five doctors fail to diagnose an endocrinologic tumor causing peculiar symptoms in "a persistently complaining, melodramatic menopausal woman who quite accurately describes herself as kooky." But positive feelings also get in the way; an emergency room doctor misses unstable angina in a forest ranger because "the ranger's physique and chiseled features reminded him of a young Clint Eastwood—all strong associations with health and vigor." Other errors occur when a patient is irreversibly classified with a particular syndrome: "diagnosis momentum, like a boulder rolling down a mountain, gains enough force to crush anything in its way." The patient stories are told with Groopman's customary attention to character and emotion. And there is great care and concern for the epistemology of medical knowledge, and a sense of life-and-death urgency in analyzing the well-intentioned thought processes of the highly trained. I have never read elsewhere this kind of discussion of the ambiguities besetting the superspecialized—the doctors on whom the rest of us depend: "Specialization in medicine confers a false sense of certainty." How Doctors Think helped me understand my own thought processes and my colleagues'—even as it left me chastened and dazzled by turns. Every reflective doctor will learn from this book—and every prospective patient will find thoughtful advice for communicating successfully in the medical setting and getting better care.Many of the physicians Dr. Groopman writes about are visionaries and heroes; their diagnostic and therapeutic triumphs are astounding. And these are the doctors who are, like the author, willing to anatomize their own serious errors. This passionate honesty gives the book an immediacy and an eloquence that will resonate with anyone interested in medicine, science or the cruel beauties of those human endeavors which engage mortal stakes. (Mar. 19)Klass is professor of journalism and pediatrics at NYU. Her most recent book is Every Mother Is a Daughter, with Sheila Solomon Klass.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Jerome Groopman, Harvard professor of medicine, AIDS and cancer researcher, and New Yorker staff writer in medicine and biology, isn't new to the popular medical-writing scene. Before How Doctors Think, he penned three other booksThe Anatomy of Hope, Second Opinions, and The Measure of Our Daysthat explore the role of art in the hard science of medicine. Here, Groopman's readable prose emphasizes the human element, the give-and-take so important to successful diagnosis and treatment. One critic, however, compares the book's medical pyrotechnics to an episode of the medical show House, while another takes issue with the author's stance against Big Pharma. For the most part, critics see Groopman's latest effort as a compelling meditation on the interactions between doctors and patientsan effort reminding us that mistakes and miscommunications can be minimized but not eliminated.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Dr. Groopman writes so plainly and connects with the reader. He pulls together stories from past patients and his personal life, making the mystery of medical thinking and... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Joanna McPherson
Totally amazing! Intended as a guide for patients to understand their doctors, this is invaluable to healthcare providers as well. Read morePublished 15 days ago by molly
This was an insightful book on the relationship between doctors and the patients they collaborate with to heal. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Sarah
I'm recommending it to everyone I know. It's full of good information and well written.Published 23 days ago by kate anthony
While the book was meant for the layman, doctors too would benefit from reading it. As a doctor myself, the language was simple and easily understood by everyone. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Nicole
Dr. Groopman highlights important fallacies in thinking that are prevalent amongst physicians and the often dire consequences they have on patients. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Purujit
Great for doctors and patients to read, as it helps to explain how well-intentioned physicians sometimes end up at inaccurate conclusions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jordan Shapiro