I got a free advanced reading copy of this book from my workplace, and was really excited about it from the beginning. About 2/3 of the way through itI got a free advanced reading copy of this book from my workplace, and was really excited about it from the beginning. About 2/3 of the way through it, and still enjoying it though reading it in small chunks at a time-- especially on the bus.
I find the subject fascinating. Doctors are, after all, only people like the rest of us and are thus susceptible to the same mistakes in thought and the (accidental) allowing of biases to affect their judgement. How Doctors Think explores this, delving into factors such as mood and preconceptions about a patient (ie a drunk, homeless man who comes in to the ER and is written off as just being a drunk whose symptoms are explained by sumply that). Such as how really liking a patient can lead a doctor to not treat them as aggressively, subconsciously wanting to spare them the pain of certain tests or procedures. Such as how studies have shown that radiologists can look at and assess a set of images, then be shown the same set at a later date and come up with results that disagree with their first assessment. Such as how it is necessary to view each case individually, rather than, for example, a pediatrician assuming that a child coming in with a sore throat and other common symptoms of a simple viral infection has the same run-of-the-mill virus that the 20 other children who have come in the past few days complaining of the same thing, even if the symptoms don't totally fit.
I don't know how well I'm explaining this, especially because I have been away and haven't read it in about a week, and there are a lot of cool concepts in their I am totally omitting from this review because of that, but another thing this book does is offer insight into how you as a patient can help steer a doctor away from these mistakes by your awareness and asking of the right questions.
While browsing through the reviews on this website from other readers, they mentioned it being redundant, which is true to an extent, but I don't think it really detracts from the enjoyment of the book. I like hearing his multiple examples of his thoughts on cognitive biases and mistakes that doctors make.
I especiall recommend this book to those who are: ~interested in medicine ~patients (all of us, as we all are at one time or another) who want to understand "how doctors think" and improve your care ~ interested in theories of cognition and errors in thinking and deducing ~and ESPECIALLY medical students, doctors-in-training, as well as as seasoned doctors