From Publishers Weekly
Every year in America nearly 200,000 people die due to preventable mistakes or infections acquired in hospitals. CNN senior medical correspondent Cohen uses these sobering stats and a horror story of her own (her sick newborn received unnecessary spinal taps) to launch this tract on patient empowerment. Cohen counters numerous examples of medical errors, rude and rushed doctors, and hostile insurance companies with practical tips to guarantee quality medical care. Potential patients learn ways of finding the right physician, tips for courageously disagreeing with or even firing the "wrong doctor," strategies for maximizing doctor appointment time, and more. Misdiagnoses occur often, the author notes, citing examples of "diagnostic heroes" like the teenage girl, mysteriously ill for eight years, who diagnosed her own disease in a high school science class. Cohen offers practical advice for avoiding such problems, surviving hospitalization (more difficult than you might think), and coping with insurance companies. An appendix of medical websites, sample interactions with medical professionals, and guidelines for climbing out of medical debt completes this valuable book.
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In this easy-to-read primer, CNN medical correspondent Cohen explains how to fire your doctor, avoid a misdiagnosis, be an Internet sleuth, battle your insurance company, get cheap-but-good drugs, and escape the hospital alive. She organizes these categories in chapters with common problems and practical solutions. To illustrate her points and to keep the advice from being too dry, she breaks out mini profiles of real people. Fans of celebrity news will be happy: Cohen also drops names. She refers to her interviews with Dennis Quaid and Evan Handler (who plays Charlotte’s adorable, bald husband on Sex and the City). Its easy to get through this chatty book, in which Cohen reveals that she is a self-described germaphobe; her daughters spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit; and her mother suffers from end-stage kidney failure because of an internist who failed to catch her adrenal problems earlier. A clearly written winner. --Karen Springen