Groopman, Jerome E. How Doctors Think

Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of medical essays, so I pretty much knew that I would enjoy this book before I started reading it.  But I had not read Groopman before (other than a few of his essays in The New Yorker) so my mind was open to dislike it.  Well, all the great reviews couldn’t be wrong!  And they weren’t.  It is a very good book.  What is particularly interesting about this collection is Groopman’s focus on the relationship between doctor and patient and how a doctor’s perceptions can influence the quality of care a patient receives.  For example, in one essay, Groopman writes about an athletic and attractive man who goes to the ER because he has pain and shortness of breath, but he is turned away without receiving the treatment he needs because the doctor treating him views him in such a positive light and is unable to see past the patient's robust facade.  If you enjoy reading books by Oliver Sacks or Atul Gawande, you will want to read this book as well.   Groopman writes in a similarly engaging style and, like the others, addresses fascinating medical issues.  Additionally, this book will give you ideas on how to become a better patient and communicate in ways that help doctors move past their preconceived notions that they may have about you and your health.

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