Sarah's Reviews > How Doctors Think

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
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Jun 23, 08

Read in June, 2008

My book club read this book last month. We found it interesting, but repetitive. Basically, Dr. Groopman discusses many ways in which doctors are, gasp, not omniscient and in fact are susceptible to the same errors/ruts/gaps in thinking that plague any of us when trying to solve problems. Recognizing these fallibilities--understanding how a doctor is trained to think-- enables patients to be more proactive, to ask better questions, and thus help themselves by helping the doctor find the correct diagnosis or best treatment.

Groopman organizes his points around lots of interesting anecdotes, so I didn't find this book dry at all, just somewhat repetitive. If you're interested in the medical field at all (or perhaps have had an illness that resisted easy diagnosis), I definitely recommend it. You don't have to read the whole thing unless you really get into it. The intro/first chapter and the one about his hand are especially intriguing.

I read this book after having a fascinating experience this spring with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), in which my acupuncturist solved a medical mystery for which Western medicine had 0 answers. The problem was basically an imbalance of the sort that isn't even in the Western lexicon. TCM views the body in a totally different way. But for me this made "how doctors think" (the subject, not the book) seem frustratingly constrained, with very limited training in or willingness to explore truly holistic health.
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