Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now: Gaining the Upper Hand in Your Medical Care

Overview

The state of health care in this country is routinely discussed in the media, at the office, and around the kitchen table. Yet as consumers of medical care, Americans often blindly accept medical advice that may or may not be relevant or even appropriate. Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now is meant to turn on its head the old notion that medical care is dictated by the doctors who offer advice. Today, it's all about the patients who receive it. Bias, financial incentives, and preventable medical error are ...

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Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now: Gaining the Upper Hand in Your Medical Care

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Overview

The state of health care in this country is routinely discussed in the media, at the office, and around the kitchen table. Yet as consumers of medical care, Americans often blindly accept medical advice that may or may not be relevant or even appropriate. Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now is meant to turn on its head the old notion that medical care is dictated by the doctors who offer advice. Today, it's all about the patients who receive it. Bias, financial incentives, and preventable medical error are common to the point of inevitability and have proven resistant to reform. Patients increasingly and correctly feel that they are on their own in a large, bewildering, impersonal, and dangerous medical system. Offering an insider's perspective, Dr. Kussin provides the tools readers need to make informed decisions about their care, as well as the confidence to question their doctor's advice, seek out additional information, and discern the best path for their care. With this book, readers learn how to maintain a professional approach that, rather than straining the doctor-patient relationship, makes it stronger and more cooperative.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After a traumatic automobile accident put an end to his career, Dr. Kussin, once a successful gastroenterologist, took on the role of patient, undergoing several surgeries, was confined to a wheelchair and faced prolonged rehabilitation. Although he was regarded as a medical professional by the doctors and nurses who treated him, his long stay in the hospital gave him a new perspective on the problems faced by ordinary patients and their families who are frequently out of the loop on important decisions. He became a close observer of medical errors in his own treatment but more so in that of others patients. According to Kussin's findings, hundreds of thousands die, or are injured each year from preventable error and infection. High on the list is the failure of medical professionals simply to wash their hands and maintain a sanitary environment. As a solution, Kussin recommends a number of low-cost sites where useful medical information can be found. He also discusses criteria for choosing a doctor and a hospital and he reviews the problem of pharmaceutical over-kill. Aimed at those who are well covered by insurance, Kussin offers invaluable advice to help patients and their families be proactive and become their own medical advocates. (Aug.)
New York Times
Dr. Steven Z. Kussin addresses not a particular group of patients but the world at large. A bad car accident 10 years ago prompted him to reflect at length on the “process and philosophy” of medical care, and his book is an encyclopedic treatise on the sad state of medicine today and the best ways for an Internet-savvy consumer to cope....He also offers the occasional nugget of unusual advice. Should you really send your doctor a birthday card and gift to get better care, as he suggests? As bad as things are out there, one does like to think this particular precaution has not yet become necessary. The sardonic commentary loops on — Kurt Vonnegut meeting Miss Manners — as Dr. Kussin settles himself down at the edge of your bed for a nice long lecture....Dr. Kussin does offer comprehensive advice on using medical Web sites to advantage....For future sociologists, this book will serve as an invaluable guide to the echoing chambers of the 2011 doctor’s mind.
About.Com
So many "smart patient" books are penned by physicians, intending to teach patients what doctors prefer patients do in order to make their doctor jobs easier. But this book is different. Instead it reveals behind-the-scenes, and sometimes unsettling inside information allowing us patients a glimpse at why the system operates the way it does so we can learn to overcome obstacles to the care we truly deserve.
The New York Times
Dr. Steven Z. Kussin addresses not a particular group of patients but the world at large. A bad car accident 10 years ago prompted him to reflect at length on the “process and philosophy” of medical care, and his book is an encyclopedic treatise on the sad state of medicine today and the best ways for an Internet-savvy consumer to cope....He also offers the occasional nugget of unusual advice. Should you really send your doctor a birthday card and gift to get better care, as he suggests? As bad as things are out there, one does like to think this particular precaution has not yet become necessary. The sardonic commentary loops on — Kurt Vonnegut meeting Miss Manners — as Dr. Kussin settles himself down at the edge of your bed for a nice long lecture....Dr. Kussin does offer comprehensive advice on using medical Web sites to advantage....For future sociologists, this book will serve as an invaluable guide to the echoing chambers of the 2011 doctor’s mind.
About.com
So many "smart patient" books are penned by physicians, intending to teach patients what doctors prefer patients do in order to make their doctor jobs easier. But this book is different. Instead it reveals behind-the-scenes, and sometimes unsettling inside information allowing us patients a glimpse at why the system operates the way it does so we can learn to overcome obstacles to the care we truly deserve.
Booklist
A Booklist Top 10 Health and Wellness Book!

Primers on how to get the best possible medical care can be boring. This one is not. It opens dramatically, with a teenage driver crashing into the author’s car, which ended his 30 years in clinical practice as a doctor and turned him into a patient. This experience, not just his status as a physician, gives Kussin automatic credibility before he launches into how to choose a doctor and a hospital (the best physician is more important than a big-name medical center) and how to prevent disasters (constant vigilance). Kussin can be scary: 'From the moment you arrive until the second you leave, your hospital, any hospital, is the most unsafe environment most of you will ever enter.' Kussin’s list of possible errors is a long one: accidental punctures during surgery, infections, identity mistakes, and medication errors (six percent of in hospital deaths are, in part, drug-related). He offers advice about how to prevent each horror and reminds us that doctors and insurance companies make mistakes. Kussin’s advice: 'Be nice, be courteous, but be persistent.' This book can save lives.

Starred Review Booklist
A Booklist Top 10 Health and Wellness Book!

Primers on how to get the best possible medical care can be boring. This one is not. It opens dramatically, with a teenage driver crashing into the author’s car, which ended his 30 years in clinical practice as a doctor and turned him into a patient. This experience, not just his status as a physician, gives Kussin automatic credibility before he launches into how to choose a doctor and a hospital (the best physician is more important than a big-name medical center) and how to prevent disasters (constant vigilance). Kussin can be scary: 'From the moment you arrive until the second you leave, your hospital, any hospital, is the most unsafe environment most of you will ever enter.' Kussin’s list of possible errors is a long one: accidental punctures during surgery, infections, identity mistakes, and medication errors (six percent of in hospital deaths are, in part, drug-related). He offers advice about how to prevent each horror and reminds us that doctors and insurance companies make mistakes. Kussin’s advice: 'Be nice, be courteous, but be persistent.' This book can save lives.

Rosemary Gibson
Dr. Kussin writes a riveting story of the stark reality when a doctor becomes a patient. He offers advice from both sides of the bedrails on how to navigate a complex system and get the care you need.
Christopher M. Johnson M.D.
The American medical system is a vast, sprawling, complicated thing. It is barely understandable to the physicians who work in it, and totally bewildering to the majority of patients who must use it. Dr. Kussin's book is a hard-headed, practical user's guide for people who want to know how our complicated and messy system works day-to-day in doctors' offices and hospitals. It shows readers how to be savvy, how to be their own best advocate in getting good care and avoiding bad care-in short, how to become proficient in the art of what Dr. Kussin aptly calls "patienthood."
Tom Cathcart
We're often told these days that we need to advocate for ourselves in the health care arena, but those of us who have tried know that we're likely to end up feeling like David (without his sling). In Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now, Dr. Steven Z. Kussin has given us scores of valuable tools we can use to protect our own health as we encounter the complex health care system. In the bargain, he has also given us a passionate, articulate, and often laugh-out-loud funny book. Doctors as well as patients should read this.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442210592
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/3/2011
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Z. Kussin, M.D., is the founder of the Shared Decision Center of Central New York. He has published scholarly articles in several journals, hasbeen in practice for more than thirty years, and has taught at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has an international following on his blog MedicalAdvocate.com.

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Table of Contents

Preface: The Process of Caring ix

Acknowledgments xvii

Part I War: The Battle of Medical Epistemologies 1

Part II A Medical Day 29

1 The Office 31

2 The Hospital 52

3 Medical On-Call 80

4 The Emergency Room 99

Part III Choosing Your Doctor 113

5 Introduction 115

6 College and Medical School: Setting the Stage 118

7 Brains 122

8 Communication 137

9 Empathy 162

10 Style 172

11 Second Opinions 177

Part IV Choosing Your Hospital 187

12 Introduction 189

13 Staying Local 192

14 Abandon Ship! 201

15 Searching for Solutions 207

Part V Hospital Dangers and How to Prevent Them 221

16 Introduction 223

17 Medication Errors 229

18 Hospital-Acquired Infections 240

19 Isolation 254

Appendix: Best Medical Websites 261

Notes 271

Bibliography 291

Index 293

About the Author 307

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Nothing like it

    Smart funny. A view from an insider with access to the system from the inside out Tips found no where else. Some controversial notions ( hospitalists, board certification ,the primacy of IQ over empathy, and advice that contradicts federal guidelines ) The chapter War is worth the money alone. How to judge ,choose and question doctors. The chapters on hospital dangers can save lives. Written with style, anecdotes,personal recollections brings a dry topic to life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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