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How Not to Die: Surprising Lessons on Living Longer, Safer, and Healthier from America's Favorite Medical Examiner Hardcover – October 14, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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About the Author

JAN GARAVAGLIA, M.D., is the chief examiner for the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office in Florida, presiding over 1,100 autopsies a year. She is also the host of Discovery Health channel’s top-rated series, Dr. G: Medical Examiner.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307409147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307409140
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #835,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From: [...]
Author & Book Views On A Healthy Life!

Book Review: How Not to Die: Surprising Lessons on Living Longer, Safer, and Healthier from America's Favorite Medical Examiner (Crown Pub., 2008) by Jan Garavaglia, M.D.

A FirstLook Review

Dr. Jan Garavaglia is also known as Dr. G: Medical Examiner on the Discovery Channel's hit series. In real life she is a forensic pathologist in District 9 of Orange County, Florida. Her district sees about 1100 cases (bodies) a year. She determines the cause of death.

The purpose of How Not To Die lies in the fact that most medical examiners' labs in the United States see deaths for the following reasons:

* 10 % are homicides
* 40% are premature natural deaths
* 40% from accidents
* 10% are suicides

Dr. G writes, "There are other actions you might not be aware of that can save your life." Though many of us believe in an appointed time of death, Dr. G believes that fate lies with genetics and luck, and "a lot of us make our own bad luck."

Following upon the heels of her successful television show with this book, Dr. G hopes to alert society to the benefits of forensic pathology. This science allows doctors to warn us about ways to save our lives. Using actual case studies and sometimes graphic scientific descriptions, Dr. G motivates the reader into health and safety contemplation.
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1 Comment 69 of 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Jan Garavaglia is the host of the Discovery Channel's "Dr. G: Medical Examiner" and the author of "How Not to Die," with valuable "lessons on living, longer, safer, and healthier" lives. Dr. G. is a forensic pathologist who performs autopsies in Orange County, Florida. The knowledge that she gains from investigating how and why someone passed away unexpectedly serves many purposes: It can bring closure to the decedent's family, solve crimes, and settle lawsuits. In addition, Dr. G. hopes that the living will learn from the dead that it pays to follow common sense rules about diet, exercise, mental health, and accident prevention "to avoid an early trip to the morgue."

The author loves her work and it shows. She speaks with relish about the challenge of solving the tricky puzzles that she faces. Dr. G methodically examines each body, takes notes and photographs, makes microscopic slides, and sends fluids out to the toxicology lab. She also factors information from the individual's medical history into the equation. All of this leads to the doctor's findings about cause and manner of death.

Dr. G's chatty writing style, colorful and fascinating case studies, compassionate attitude, and insights into her own life combine to make this an entertaining, educational, and lively book. Aficionados of "CSI" will find Dr. G's stories particularly engrossing, since they are sometimes dramatic, unusual, and at times, gruesome. Fortunately, Dr. G. has a sense of humor that makes even such grim subject matter a bit more palatable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't wait to read this book, but it left me disappointed, like tuning in to Dr. G's show only to find out it's a rerun! It is a good read and well written in Dr. G's caring candid no nonsense easy to understand style, but for me it fell short of my expectations. All the cases she describes in the book are ones from her TV show, so if you are a regular viewer, a good part of the book will be like watching those episodes again.

The advice she gives on healthy living is sage and sound, but it is things most all of us already know: i.e. exercise, eat healthy, see your doctor regularly, don't smoke, do drugs, drink & drive etc. Of course, maybe someone will actually listen to Dr. G, so the book will undoubtedly do some people a lot of good! Nonetheless, if you're a Dr. G fan, buy the book anyhow and it would probably be fascinating for someone interested in forensics who does not watch her show since all the cases she describes would be "new" to them. Don't get me wrong, I love Dr. G and her heart is in the right place! I really hope her book helps people to make changes towards a healthier lifestyle and or to seek out the considerable resources she gives for help with specific lifestyle and health problems.
2 Comments 22 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I wish that every physician would understand
the danger signals which lead to death. This book
contains extensive clinical experiences and
symptomatology which should never be ignored.

The author explains how dental bacteria can
enter into the bloodstream and kill a patient.
Untreated diabetes can lead to widespread organ
failure. Oral sex can lead to head/neck cancer.
The HPV vaccine can lower the risks of the head/neck cancer.

Changes in vision can precede strokes or bleeding
inside the eye. Confusion can result from a head
injury, low blood sugar or meningitis.

Patients should check for Board Certified physicians.
In addition, there are a host of actions to be taken
to promote good health; namely,

o BMI analysis and followup dieting
o stress reduction
o cultivation of gratefulness
o listen to your body
o use medications and vitamins as directed

This book has some excellent clinical advice for
patients everywhere. These are things that your
doctor may not tell you during a typical visit.

I would add to this book another important item.
Keep copies of your medical records for future
reference. You might be surprised to read the contents.
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