Get Inside Your Doctor's Head: Ten Commonsense Rules for Making Better Decisions about Medical Care

Get Inside Your Doctor's Head: Ten Commonsense Rules for Making Better Decisions about Medical Care

by Phillip K. Peterson MD


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With so many medical tests and treatments and so much scientific and medical information—some of it contradictory—how can people make the best medical decisions?

Most medical decisions, it turns out, are based on common sense. In this short and easy-to-read book, Dr. Phillip K. Peterson explains the ten rules of internal medicine. Using real case examples he shows how following the rules will help consumers make good decisions about their medical care.

Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head provides advice about such questions as when to seek treatment, when to get another opinion, and when to let time take its course. Turn to the Ten Rules when you are weighing your doctor’s recommendations about diagnostic tests and treatments and use them to communicate more effectively with your doctor. As with all rules, the Ten Rules of Internal Medicine have occasional exceptions—and when evidence suggests that you are an exception, the relevant rule should be broken. Follow the Ten Rules to make decisions in the increasingly complicated medical world when you need guidance about health matters for yourself and your loved ones.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421410692
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2013
Series: A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Phillip K. Peterson, M.D., is a professor of medicine and an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Because many infections are public health threats and many are linked to animals, he is also on the faculties of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Peterson has served as an internist and infectious diseases consultant at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and Hennepin County Medical Center.

Table of Contents

Introduction Applying and Breaking the Rules 1

Rule 1 If You Don't Know What You're Doing, Don't Do Anything 7

Rule 2 If What You're Doing Seems to Be Working, Think about Continuing It 15

Rule 3 If What You're Doing Doesn't Seem to Be Working, Think about Doing Something Else 23

Rule 4 Don't Agree to an Invasive Procedure without Understanding Why It's Needed-and without Getting a Second Opinion 31

Rule 5 If You Don't Have Symptoms, a Doctor Can't Make You Feel Better 41

Rule 6 Never Trust Anyone Completely, Especially Purveyors of Conventional Wisdom 49

Rule 7 Most Things Are What They Seem to Be, Except When They're Not 57

Rule 8 What Your Doctor Doesn't Know Could Kill You 65

Rule 9 Timing Is Everything, and Sometimes Time Is the Cure 73

Rule 10 Caring Is Always Important Medicine 81

Epilogue The Participatory Art of Medicine 91

Recap The Rules Revisited 95

Acknowledgments 101

Appendix. Additional Information about the Common Illnesses Discussed in This Book 103

What People are Saying About This

Charles E. Davis

"In simple direct language Dr. Peterson tells readers how to understand their doctors’ recommendations and ask intelligent questions about their validity. This straightforward information provides valuable tools to help readers evaluate medical advice and become effective self-advocates for the highest quality medical care available."

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