Arnot, a medical correspondent for CBS This Morning and 48 Hours , has compiled a consumer's guide to getting the most from the present health care system. He bases his recommendations on scores of interviews with health care professionals and data collected from ``research firms, think tanks, medical schools and articles published in medical journals.''x This is the ``blue book'' of medicine--and Arnot wouldn't mind the analogy to hardheaded comparison shopping in a used-car lot. His work is an invaluable tool for those who wish to improve the health care they or their loved ones receive. The two main sections are guides: the first covers surgical procedures, and the second deala with managing chronic diseases. In both, Arnot furnishes information about diagnoses, potential treatment risks and alternatives, and how to choose a doctor. He also lists nationwide ``centers of excellence'' for treatments and various support groups. In a country where, by some reports, 25% of all of the surgeries performed are unnecessary, this book will help the reader choose better odds. (Sept.)
Arnot, known from his appearances on CBS news programs, has written this book ``to share . . . the basic rules of thumb that the medical experts themselves use to find excellence for their families and their patients.'' An extensive introductory chapter explains how to use the book effectively to be a competent healthcare consumer. Discussing 14 operations/procedures and 11 chronic illnesses, which were chosen because of their high visibility and because a ``solid body of data and knowledge existed from which to draw first-rate advice,'' Arnot describes each medical problem, outlines appropriate kinds of care, lists hospitals that are centers of excellence for that problem, and notes experts in the field and references for additional reading. Recommended for comprehensive consumer health collections.-- Mary J. Jarvis, Methodist Hosp. Medical Lib., Lubbock, Tex.
Arnot, physician for the 1980 Winter Olympic Games and frequent CBS medical news reporter, advises obtaining excellent medical care by choosing the best doctors and the best institutions, then letting them do their jobs. After describing such flaws in the present health-care system as failure to determine when surgery works and who should do it, failure to manage chronic illness, and failure to prevent illness, he proffers two consumers' guides, one to operations and procedures, the other to chronic diseases. In each chapter of these guides, he outlines steps to follow to obtain the best possible care for the particular procedure or complaint. Procedures covered include those for the heart, obstetrics and gynecology, the abdomen, orthopedics, the brain, the eyes, and burns. Chronic diseases discussed are AIDS, arthritis, asthma, cancer, coronary artery disease, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and peptic ulcer disease. Appended is a list of university-affiliated teaching hospitals.
Dr. Arnot is known to many in his role as CBS News medical correspondent. For each of 11 chronic diseases and 13 procedures, he summarizes steps in making treatment decisions, common misdiagnoses, appropriate tests and medication, and common errors, and provides reading lists and resource information. He spurs consumers to take an active role in their own care, and those who refer to this book may feel that at least the most obvious boo-boos will not be made in their case. An appendix lists university-affiliated teaching hospitals in each state. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)