How Doctors Think

How Doctors Think

by Jerome Groopman


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On average, a physician will interrupt a patient describing her symptoms within eighteen seconds. In that short time, many doctors decide on the likely diagnosis and best treatment. Often, decisions made this way are correct, but at crucial moments they can also be wrong—with catastrophic consequences. In this myth-shattering book, Jerome Groopman pinpoints the forces and thought processes behind the decisions doctors make. Groopman explores why doctors err and shows when and how they can—with our help—avoid snap judgments, embrace uncertainty, communicate effectively, and deploy other skills that can profoundly impact our health. This book is the first to describe in detail the warning signs of erroneous medical thinking and reveal how new technologies may actually hinder accurate diagnoses. How Doctors Think offers direct, intelligent questions patients can ask their doctors to help them get back on track.

Groopman draws on a wealth of research, extensive interviews with some of the country’s best doctors, and his own experiences as a doctor and as a patient. He has learned many of the lessons in this book the hard way, from his own mistakes and from errors his doctors made in treating his own debilitating medical problems.

How Doctors Think reveals a profound new view of twenty-first-century medical practice, giving doctors and patients the vital information they need to make better judgments together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547053646
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 03/12/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 133,061
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jerome Groopman, M.D., holds the Dina and Raphael Recanati Chair of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is chief of experimental medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. A staff writer for The New Yorker, he is the author of How Doctors Think, The Anatomy of Hope, Second Opinions, The Measure of Our Days, and other books.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 1. Flesh-and-Blood Decision-Making 27 2. Lessons from the Heart 41 3. Spinning Plates 59 4. Gatekeepers 77 5. A New Mother’s Challenge 101 6. The Uncertainty of the Expert 132 7. Surgery and Satisfaction 156 8. The Eye of the Beholder 177 9. Marketing, Money, and Medical Decisions 203 10. In Service of the Soul 234 Epilogue: A Patient’s Questions 260

Acknowledgments 271 Notes 274 Index 292

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From the Publisher

"Direct and honest...Groopman [is] at the peak of his form, as a physician and as a writer." —-The New York Times

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