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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
"Whether or not we care to admit it," writes Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld, "health care is now rationed for most Americans." Gone are the days of house calls and doctor- knows-best, he continues. It's the insurance companies that call the shots in terms of what tests and treatments you're likely to receive when you're sick.
This will not come as news to most of those who've visited an HMO lately or even just tried to fill a prescription. But it's refreshing to hear one of America's best-known physicians (and bestselling authors) tell it like it is. In Power to the Patient, Rosenfeld makes the case that "you're essentially on your own when it comes to your health," and he sets out to arm you with the most important information you need to ensure you're being cared for properly whenever problems arise.
The book is organized in an A-to-Z encyclopedia format, with a total of 39 different conditions discussed. Be it a serious chronic illness like diabetes or an occasional flare-up of acne, Rosenfeld covers the basics with respect to causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Common medical procedures and medications (and, occasionally, nutritional supplements) are critiqued where relevant, with Rosenfeld offering his own take on which work best and which you would be wise to avoid. He concludes the discussion of each condition with a "what to insist on" summary that's meant to drive home key facts to remember, including the tests and treatments you're entitled to under the law.
By keeping the total number of conditions smaller than is common in most books of this kind, Power to the Patient conveys an exceptional amount of useful advice, and Rosenfeld delivers it with the same blend of science and humor that has made his previous books so successful. The only place where this one falls short is in not offering more tips on what to do when you don't get what you're "insisting on."
Still, in an era in which medicine is often more about bottom lines than bedside manners, Rosenfeld is the kind of seasoned physician who understands both and can help you navigate the hazardous territory in between. (P. L. Jennings)