The Essential Patient Handbook

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The Essential Patient Handbook

SKU# 9781932603026

Getting the Health Care You Need - From Doctors Who Know

Author: Alan B. Ettinger MD, Deborah M. Weisbrot


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The Essential Patient Handbook was written for the millions of Americans who are dissatisfied with their medical care, and are looking for a practical no-nonsense way to get the help they need from their doctors. It contains lessons learned by two doctors (husband and wife) who endured immense challenges on the patient side of the medical care system. Here are the secrets to:
  • getting your doctor to listen
  • preparing information your doctor needs to know
  • understanding the reasoning behind your doctor's questions
  • asking the essential questions about tests, diagnoses, medications, surgery, and second opinions
  • checking for medication side effects and drug interactions
  • dealing with confusing insurance and billing forms
  • working with your doctor when considering alternative and complementary medicines
  • handling difficult doctor-patient interactions
  • dealing with a hospital stay

The Essential Patient Handbook will walk readers through the entire medical evaluation process, from the first question to the last. It gives them a guide to thoroughly prepare medical information BEFORE seeing a doctor, and explains why each piece of information is crucial. The information prepared with the aid of this book are symptom-specific, and will help physicians to arrive at a differential diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is established, it will help readers prepare further information that your doctors needs to learn to remain on top of your medical condition."

Product Details 

  • Publication Date August 01, 2004
  • Page Count 288
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9781932603026
  • EISBN 9781934559444

Table of Contents 

How to Use This Book
The Medical Evaluation Process and Developing Your Own Medical Record
What are You Complaining About? - The Chief Complaint
Make Your Mark in History - Your History of Present Illness (HPI)
Your Specific Symptoms
Blast From the Past - Your Past Medical History
All in the Family - Your Family History
Put Yourself to the Test - Your Prior Diagnostic Workup
Current and Prior Treatments
Beyond the Facts and Figures - Your Psychosocial History
Your Current and Future Health
Did We Forget Anything? - The Review of Systems
Let's Get Physical - The Physical Examination
Testing Patients, Not Your Patience - Future Tests and Procedures
Putting it all Together - How the Doctor Arrives at the Diagnosis
To Waste Time or Not Waste Time, That is the Question - The Follow-up Visit and Specific Diagnoses
Special Situations
Your Child's Medical History
The Psychiatric Consultation for Adults and Children
Preparing the Medical Evaluation for Patients with Impaired Thinking
Whose Life is it Anyway? - Preparing Advance Directives
Questions for the Doctor
Not Asking About Test Results Is Out of the Question
Questions About Your Diagnosis and When to Get a Second Opinion
If You Don't Ask Questions About Your Medications, You Are Asking for Trouble
Surgery and Others Procedures Are Not a Cut and Dry Matter
Don't Compliment a Doctor Who Won't Discuss Complementary Medicine
Call of the Wild or Don't Get Excited When You Call Your Doctor
Other Useful Information
Don't Go Out of Your Mind When You Go Out Of Network - Understanding Medical Insurance Plans
You Don't Have to Be a Doctor to Get a Medical Education - Ignorance is NOT Bliss When It Comes to Your Health
Doctors: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Don't Let Difficult Doctors Get On Your Case
Feelings You May Have When You See the Doctor
Read this BEFORE You Go to the Hospital
Final Thoughts
Completed History Form Example
Common Medical Errors Related to Testing
Differential Diagnosis
Medication Categories"

Editorial Review(s) 

"The Essential Patient Handbook is a practical and informative guide and the antidote to the feelings of intimidation and anxiety that so many patients experience. This book belongs on the shelf right next to other essential home references." -- National Headache Foundation HeadLines

"This is a powerful book written by two physicians who experienced healthcare as patient and family of patient through a serious illness, hospitalization, and recovery. This paperback book of 300 pages gives insight to patients who wish to partner with their physician in their healthcare. This book provides the tools and knowledge necessary to empower apatient to become active in their health care choices... The Essential Patient Handbook will be a useful tool on the reference shelf at home or onthe shelf in a Consumer Health Library."-- CAPHIS Consumer Connections

"There are many healthcare guides available to consumers. This one stands outbecause of the useful tools that are provided for the reader and the discussions about the reasons behind many of the healthcare processes thatmay be unknown to the consumer. The book is a useful source of information that is easy to access." -- Doody's Book Reviews

"Drs. Ettinger and Weisbrot have compiled an exhaustive, educational primer for patients and their families. The Essential Patient Handbook provides a critically needed foundation for patient-centered, high quality medical care."-- Arthur A. Levin, M.P.H.; Director, Center for Medical Consumers

"In today's healthcare world it is critical that patients take an active role in their medical care process. This book provides vital information to ensure that patients are informed, prepared and empowered."-- Roxanne Black, Founder and Executive Director of Friends' Health Connection

"If you're like most people, navigating through the portals of modern medicine and the maze of conflicting health information in the media can be very confusing - even dangerous. This first-of-its-kind resource provides invaluable insight that helps educate readers in becoming better, more informed consumers in the healthcare decision-making process. The Essential Patient Handbook is 'hands-down' the most informative book on the market for those genuinely interested in taking charge of their own personal health and wellness journey."-- Teresa Tanoos, News Anchor and Medical Reporter, Healthy Living with Teresa Tanoos

"The ideal doctor-patient relationship exists as a true partnership; [The Essential Patient Handbook] provides the most essential, real-life scenarios on attaining that. It is not only an essential read for patients and their families, but for caregivers, nurses, policymakers and especially physicians and medical students. It would be of particular significance for parents of children with complex and special health care needs."--Rick Rader, M.D., Editor in Chief, Exceptional Parent Magazine

"The Essential Patient Handbook is not just a book you should have in case you should happen to be a patient one day (which we all will be!), but it is an essential home reference. A reference every family will use and, in fact, use often! "-- John J. Connolly, Ed.D., Castle Connolly Top Doctors Guides

"Having strong communication between the health care team and the patient and family can make a big difference in the care a patient receives. Kudos to Dr. Alan Ettinger and Dr. Deborah Weisbrot on helping patients know what to ask and how to ask it." -- John Davis, CEO, National Kidney Foundation, Inc.

"It is an ideal text for patients who must deal with the complexities of today's medical system. The book is literally a roadmap that can direct a patient from point A to point Z."-- Dr. Frank Field, Meteorologist and Host of the television show Research Update

"I would highly recommend this book for any patient who wants to take some responsibility for their own healthcare. The Essential Patient Handbook depicts simply how you can help yourself to better health care." -- Seymour Diamond, M.D., Executive Chairman, National Headache Foundation; Director, Diamond Headache Clinic "Information is clearly delivered, with worksheets to facilitate organized and patient directed medical encounters. Pre-planning each encounter is the focus of each section, to enable the patient to get the most out of the encounter within the time constrained environment of the hospital or clinic. The strength of this format is to encourage the patient to take care of their health information through documentation of health history, symptoms, and document past and ongoing health history. If used as suggested the patient will be better prepared to facilitate valuable discussion for each medical encounter. The suggested forms which are found throughout the text are clear and user friendly."--MS Care