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 to reveal how new technologies may actually hinder accurate diagnoses. How Doctors Think offers direct, intelligent questions that 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 experience 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 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 judgements together.
‘This elegant, tough-minded book recounts stories about how doctors and patients interact with one other … At the same time, the author is commenting on some of the most profound problems facing modern medicine… It is (his) direct and honest voice that drives the narratives of this remarkable book. Here is Groopman at the peak of his form, as a physician and as a writer. Readers will relish the result.
Michael Crichton, New York Times
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'Every reflective doctor will learn from this book — and every prospective patient will find thoughtful advice for communicating successfully in the medical setting and getting better care ... [Groopman's] passionate honesty gives the book an immediacy and an eloquence that will resonate with anyone interested in medicine, science or the cruel beauties of those human endeavors which engage mortal stakes.
Perri Klass, Publishers Weekly (starred review)
'It is often taken for granted that doctors will behave objectively ... This book blows that and many other myths out of the water.'
Sunday Mail Brisbane
A 'well-shaped, important book.'
Susan Wyndham, Sydney Morning Herald
'How Doctors Think is highly informative, always engaging and sometimes provocative reading.'
Warren Brewer, The Mercury Magazine
'The book is a fascinating "insider" look at how doctors arrive at medical decisions and the mental mistakes they tend to make.'
Judith Graham, Weekend Australain