The same shortcuts that help physicians save lives can also lead to grave errors. Jerome Groopman on the psychology of diagnosis. In this very engaging and well-researched book, Jerome Groopman, a practicing oncologist with expertise in AIDS-related malignancies. In the hands of Jerome Groopman, professor of medicine at Harvard and One of the messages of “How Doctors Think” is that patients need to.

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One should not confuse highly technical, even complicated, medical knowledge–special practical knowledge jjerome an unusual disease, treatment, condition, or technology–with the complex, many-sided worldly-wise knowledge we expect of the best physicians.

The intense nausea, the urge to vomit, the cramps and diarrhea that followed breakfast, lunch, and dinner as she struggled to fill her stomach with cereal, bread, and pasta had all abated.

How Doctors Think

An interview with the author is here Medical school admissions committees no longer accept a record of gentlemen’s C’s at an Ivy League college. Her general practitioner suspected what was wrong, but to be sure he referred her to a psychiatrist, and the diagnosis was made: What I’m left to wonder is what distinguishes this young doctor’s “insight” from the myriad of doctors who employ seemingly similar thought processes but arrive at wrong diagnoses.

It illustrates the importance of the patient-doctor relationship in the aspects of psychological well being, diagnosis, and treatment of patients. In today’s medicine this type of error ought also to be understood and communicated to patients, just as clearly as How Doctors Think does for other types of error.

Books Featured In This Story. Everyone needs to be their own advocate jero,e their doctorz care. Groopman, an oncologist, looks at the way doctors perceive data and make judgments about patient care.


I read this book after having a fascinating experience this spring with traditional Chinese medicine TCMin which my acupuncturist solved a medical mystery for which Western medicine had 0 answers. The book goes in to detail about how a doctors perspective of a person can shape the experience. Everything was a potential clue, telling him something about not only her physical condition but also her emotional state.

Sherlock Holmes is a model detective, but human biology is not a theft or a murder where all the cues can add up neatly. The heuristics stuff is not terribly novel — it seems to derive from a very groompan reading of Kahneman and Tversky. Salem’s query required a much more comprehensive answer, which I hope this book will help provide.

Let’s talk about the past months. The idea for it came to me unexpectedly, on a September morning three years ago while I was on rounds with a group of interns, residents, and medical students. Groopman knows the challenges of working in the medical field—he ddoctors has made some of the same errors he examines in his book.

One of the most interesting examples in the book was his own personal story of finding a solution for pain in his right hand.

How doctors think

He guides the reader to this conclusion by recounting his interviews with many different specialists and even a pharmaceutical company executive. Falchuk, she said that he’d given her the greatest Christmas present ever. Although we may listen intently to what a doctor says and try to read his facial expressions, often we are left perplexed about what is really going on in his head.

She was exhausted from endless evaluations.

Groopman quotes his mentor, Dr. As a result, he decides to embark on a journey to understand How Doctors Think.

Falchuk requested, at the beginning, reciting the long and tortuous story of her initial symptoms, the many doctors she had seen, the tests she had undergone.


Can Jerome Groopman be my doctor? Physicians like to solve problems, and pharmaceutical companies graciously oblige by both creating problems and offering docttors. Journal List J Clin Invest v.

I loved this book, I hope he writes more. Some of my comments and lessons from the book. Groopman does ierome amazing job of making confusing medical words and concepts easy to understand. I also thing that he did not take into account one major thing — disbelief of the patient. What distinguished my learning from the learning of my young trainees was the nature of the deficiency, the type of flaw.

How Doctors Think

I turned out to be wrong because there are variables that you can’t factor in until you actually do it. Groopman also thijk many unresolved contradictions throughout the book. His text often includes discussions with, descriptions of, and background information on the physicians and patients involved in the cases. Apr 25, Helen rated it really liked it Shelves: But Groopman well illustrates this point through research, anecdote and personal doctore his own as both doctor and patient.

She recalled her internist’s reluctance to refer her to a gastroenterologist, and wondered whether the procedure was pointless, done for the sake of doing it, or, even worse, to make money. Also, many of the most successful and thoughtful doctors he interviews are female. The epilogue offers words that patients, their families, and their friends can use to help a physician or surgeon think, and thereby better help themselves.

If concerned about a possible misdiagnosis or if you’re simply not getting better, Dr. This was a woman beaten down by her suffering.