The same shortcuts that help physicians save lives can also lead to grave errors. Jerome Groopman on the psychology of diagnosis. In this very engaging and well-researched book, Jerome Groopman, a practicing oncologist with expertise in AIDS-related malignancies. In the hands of Jerome Groopman, professor of medicine at Harvard and One of the messages of “How Doctors Think” is that patients need to.

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If you’re interested in the medical field at all or perhaps have had an illness that resisted easy diagnosisI definitely recommend it. Rarely did an attending physician actually explain the mental steps that led him to his decisions.

He gives the following tools that patients can use to help reduce or rectify cognitive errors:. For doctoes moment, she was confused. But few of us realize how strongly a physician’s mood and temperament influence his medical judgment.

Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Why do even the most accomplished physicians miss a key clue about a person’s true diagnosis, or detour far afield from the right remedy? Lists with This Book. This is a reasonable assumption in many situations.

‘How Doctors Think’

Anne Dodge had lost count of all the doctors she had seen over the past fifteen years. Lock, chief of cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

We’ve all wondered why a doctor asked certain questions, or detoured into unexpected areas when gathering information about us. Nor did she question why he spent such a long while looking in her mouth with a flashlight, inspecting not only her tongue and palate but her gums and the glistening tissue behind her lips as well.


At best, I said to Salem, a layman should inquire of friends and, if possible, other physicians as well as nurses about the clinical qualities of a doctor beyond his personality. I really should not have read this book!

How doctors think

This book is the first to describe in detail the warning signs of erroneous medical thinking and reveal how new technologies may actually hinder accurate diagnoses. Archived from the original on April 22, Oct 06, Ali rated it it was amazing. Your wife is a physician and female. I also realized that we mu Groopmwn must reading book for both patients and doctors!

Falchuk ushered Anne Dodge into his office, his hand on her elbow, lightly guiding her to the chair that faces his desk. Later, he describes a patient given a grave prognosis only to recover, revealing the faulty and limited logic of the physicians providing care.

How Doctors Think

The beauty of this book is that Groopman clearly listens. Groopman explores why doctors err and shows when and how they can — with our help — avoid snap judgments, embrace uncertainty, communicate effectively, and deploy other skills that can profoundly impact our health.

Recognizing these fallibilities–understanding how a doctor is trained to think– enables patients to be more proactive, to ask better questions, and thus help themselves by helping the doctor find the correct My book club read this book last month. But she went on to say, “I try to get down as much cereal in the morning as possible, and then bread and pasta at lunch and dinner.

This requires time, perhaps the rarest commodity in a healthcare system that clocks appointments in minutes. She had gained nearly twelve pounds.

Very few doctors, I believe, prostitute themselves for profit, but all of us are susceptible to the subtle and not so subtle efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to sculpt our thinking.


I lost count, but I think he visited about six different specialists trying to find a solution to the problem.

The chapter “A New Mother’s Challenge” was probably one of the best examples of how and why doctors err and how the caregiver is oftentimes in the best position to solve the mystery. The physical examination begins with the first visual impression in the waiting room, and with the tactile feedback gained by shaking a person’s hand. The team then returns to the conference room to discuss the problem. The trunk of the clinical decision tree is a patient’s major symptom or laboratory jerlme, contained within a box.

I had no ready answers to these questions, despite having trained in a well-regarded medical school and residency program, and having practiced clinical medicine for some thirty years. I turned out to be wrong because there are variables that you can’t factor in until you actually do it.

Jan 04, Pris robichaud rated it it was amazing. One of the most common cases of this is when someone who appears to be homeless comes into the E.

In today’s medicine this type of error ought also to jsrome understood and communicated to patients, just as clearly as How Doctors Think does for other types of error. Jan 20, Jeanne rated it really liked it Shelves: Dec 14, Valerie rated it it was amazing.