One of the most frustrating things about a visit to a physician these days is the lack of opportunity to ask questions. Doctors are busy individuals, and they tend to speak a language that is unfamiliar to many of us. They often assume that we know what they’re talking about as they hand us that little slip of paper, squeeze our shoulder, and head down the hall to their next patient. Unfortunately, our confusion about a diagnosis or our misinterpretation of what a doctor says often leads to less effective treatment. I have always said that a hospital can kill you as sure as cure you. How well you and your doctor communicate with each other is one of the most important parts of getting good health care. Being prepared can help make the most of your visit. Make sure you understand your diagnosis and any treatments. You must be your own best advocate.
When Doctors Don’t Listen combines medical narrative and trenchant analysis with concrete steps for getting the best possible care. In straightforward, engaging language, Doctors Wen and Kosowsky give voice to what a growing number of healthcare workers have come to believe: that the way medicine is taught and practiced is in urgent need of change, and that now is the time to address it. Theirs is not, however, a top-down approach; instead, it requires patients to take the lead to usher in a new era that will not only improve individual medical care, but also lead the way to meaningful healthcare reform.