Critical Decisions: How You and Your Doctor Can Make the Right Medical Choices Together

Critical Decisions: How You and Your Doctor Can Make the Right Medical Choices Together

by Peter A. Ubel
     
 

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We've all been there, sittinguncomfortably in a paper gownas a doctor impassively describesour prognosis. Sometimes it's simple andtreatable. Other times we get news wecan't fathom and then are faced withdecisions that are literally life and death.

In this revolutionary book, physician,behavioral scientist, and bioethicist PeterUbel, M.D., reveals how hidden

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Overview

We've all been there, sittinguncomfortably in a paper gownas a doctor impassively describesour prognosis. Sometimes it's simple andtreatable. Other times we get news wecan't fathom and then are faced withdecisions that are literally life and death.

In this revolutionary book, physician,behavioral scientist, and bioethicist PeterUbel, M.D., reveals how hidden dynamicsin the doctor/patient relationship keepus and our loved ones from making thebest medical choices. From doctors whostruggle to explain, to patients who failto properly listen, countless factors alterthe course of our care, causing things togo seriously awry.

With riveting stories of Ubel's own experiencein the field, his groundbreakingresearch, and his personal journey walkingloved ones through difficult treatmentchoices, Critical Decisions will foreverchange the way we communicate insidehospitals and medical offices, wherethoughtful decision making matters themost. Dr. Ubel has been on both endsof the stethoscope, and in this book,he shows how patients and doctorscan learn to become partners and worktogether to make the right choices. Fromchoosing to get surgery, to discussingthe side effects of a blood pressure medication,we can finally discover the toolsto improve communication, understandthe issues, and make confident decisionsfor our future health and happiness.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Ubel’s advice for doctors is solid, and his suggestions for patients are equally sage.”
Dan Ariely
“Decisions affecting our health and our loved ones’ are some of the most important that we make. As a physician and social scientist, Peter Ubel is unparalleled in his understanding of the influences that guide our medical decisions, and here he shows us how we can make better decisions.”
Library Journal
As Ubel (business administration & medicine, Duke Univ.; Free Market Madness: Why Human Nature Is at Odds with Economics—and Why It Matters) explains, while doctors are trained to diagnosis symptoms and recommend treatment, many are not trained in communication. This fact is at odds with a growing movement to encourage patients to work proactively with their physicians to determine their options. Ubel, a behavioral scientist and physician, uses examples, case studies, and personal accounts to explore the patient/doctor relationship. The process of making medical decisions is considered from the perspective of the patient and the physician. A doctor may believe he or she is explaining a condition or treatment option clearly, notes Ubel, but may nevertheless be unconsciously giving a biased opinion or using terminology the patient does not understand. Meanwhile, the patient may be too overwhelmed to ask for clarification. The section "Eight Tips To Help You and Your Doctor Make Better Decisions Together" consolidates the author's advice and makes for a helpful review before a visit to the doctor. VERDICT Written with clarity and a touch of humor, this is a quick and thoughtful read, a good choice for patients, and a must for medical professionals.—Susanne Caro, Univ. of Montana Lib., Missoula

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062103826
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,225,343
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.08(h) x 1.16(d)

What People are saying about this

Dan Ariely
“Decisions affecting our health and our loved ones’ are some of the most important that we make. As a physician and social scientist, Peter Ubel is unparalleled in his understanding of the influences that guide our medical decisions, and here he shows us how we can make better decisions.”

Meet the Author

Peter A. Ubel, M.D.,is a physician and a behavioral scientistat Duke University. An internationally renownedwriter and researcher, he is theauthor of three books: Pricing Life, You'reStronger Than You Think, and Free MarketMadness. He writes for numerous sciencepublications as well as the New York Times,the Los Angeles Times, Psychology Today,and The New England Journal of Medicine.

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