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Second Opinions: Eight Clinical Dramas of Decision Making on the Front Lines of Medicine
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Second Opinions: Eight Clinical Dramas of Decision Making on the Front Lines of Medicine

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  235 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A unique insider's view of today's complex and often contentious world of medicine. Anxious about the prognosis, lost in a blur of technical jargon, and fatigued from worry or pain, people who are ill are easily overwhelmed by treatment choices. Told through eight gripping clinical dramas, Second Opinions reveals the forces at play in making critical medical decisions. Dr. ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published 2000)
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Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Groopman is among the best physicians writing about the emotions and ethics and gray areas of medicine. This book is not simply eight dramas. They are examples of how patients defy the odds, of both survival and death, in ways science and medicine cannot fully understand, or predict. This is why medicine is an art, which requires honesty, empathy and incredible intuition. Groopman is compassion personified. He has come to his wisdom and humility in part through errors he pushed in care of his ow ...more
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This thought provoking and often disturbing book should come with a warning. It will make you question the judgment of your doctor if you or someone you know is ever faced with diagnosis and treatment of a life-threatening illness. Medical science and technology continue to make great strides forward, but following each of the case histories related by Dr. Groopman in this book, you realize how tenuous is the judgment of individual doctors who must advise patients and lead them to decisions affe ...more
Oct 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
These are interesting case studies about second opinions presented by a doctor. I have always enjoyed Jerome Groopman's articles in The New Yorker and this book was also fulfilling. One of Groopman's best traits as a writer/doctor is that he presents medical information in a manner that is accessible to the reader without oversimplifying it, i.e. I never feel that too much is lost in translation between the doctor and the layperson.
May 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
A very decent, if mediocre, book. I enjoyed the utility of humility and ingenuity in clinical decisions, and the necessity of looking to second opinions for large medical decisions, but having said that, the writing style of Jerome Groopman in this book was rudimentary and trite. There were entire passages of dialogue that were peppered with the type of description that would be apt for a high school english class.
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Dr. Groopman truly encapsulates what it takes to be a real doctor: going beyond knowledge to meet the non-clinical needs of his patients. In addition, his vigilant reassessment of his decisions and judgements are an example for all those who partake in doctoring. Dr. Groopman is not merely a physician but also a healer!
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-medicine
This was a good book but not as great as the How Doctors Think. In part the age of the book seemed to hinder it since it was written in the late part of the 1990s and medicine has moved forward quite a bit since then. It was a good book but not particularly outstanding. An easy read that is good when you don’t want to focus too hard.
Apr 26, 2011 rated it liked it
groopman is a great journalist and storyteller, but (after reading two of his books) i'm not sure his books ever accomplish what they set out to. the stories in this book didn't, for me, illuminate medical decision-making; what they did was cast groopman as the medical hero. again, though, the stories were good and told well.
Jun 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Wonderful book. This book made me buy two other books by Dr. Groopman. He is a very good author that blends story telling and medical science together without hazing past either. For a medical student this is a fun read because along with the stories comes real medical science that you can relate to.
David Quinn
A good, solid book. I'd gladly read Dr. Groopman's other offerings. Not surprisingly the author comes across as a kindly, diligent, open-minded doctor who happens to be a good listener, all of which are probably true. The eight stories are informative and provide some guidance for patients to take a more active role in their own care.
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medical
A great book written by an MD presenting case studies and the process of making decisions for critical care including the use of intuition. If Dr. Groopman is true to his written self, this is how I would like more doctors to be. Really Listening to their patients and using his own and their insight to progress with treatment.
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How have I missed this book until now? Dr. Jerome Groopman is a compassionate, gifted writer. More to the point, the eight clinical dramas related in "Second Opinions" provide insight into the challenges of making difficult medical decisions.
Aug 11, 2011 added it
Even if the book is 11 years old, it is still pertinent today. I could totally relate to Dr. Groopman's stories and explanations. In some, I could see similar circumstances I've experienced. I definitely recommend this book to my doctor friends & also to my non-doctor friends. Great read!
Aug 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book illustrating a doctor's compassion and accompanying uncertainty of diagnosis and treatment in several cases (including himself and his infant son). He does come off as something of a hero but for me, the medical details were so interesting that I couldn't put it down.
Becky Roper
Dec 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Groopmanis an MD who writes about some interesting cases where second opinions were sought with varying results. It was interesting to me to see the physician's point of view on these little dramas. It hightlighted some of the very dark corners that exist in the world of medical science.
Emilio Rivera
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
A bit slow at times but filled with a ton of detailed medical situations. Interesting read... Really shows the importance of a second opinion
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book but remember that I love to read medicine books. I did find that the author went into too much detail about medical science; there was a lot that I could not follow.
Nov 27, 2007 rated it liked it
Not as fantastic as Groopman's "How Doctor's Think," but a good read if you're looking for stories, rather facts & information.
Phebe Idol
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dr. Groopman provides an interesting examination of how pride can hinder medical progress.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Not as good as his other books but still good
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Exactly what i was looking for.
Sep 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't be afraid to question professionals. There is never a right answer, just a better answer. Get educated, ask questions. Have a doctor who will listen and advocate for you.
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Groopman is a fantastic writer!
Cathy M.
Very interesting read for anyone in healthcare!! It might be too science orientated for others?? A def. pass on to my Nsg/Medical friends.
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Nov 29, 2016
Daniel Kemper
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Dec 26, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2007
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Jul 02, 2008
Matt Freund
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Apr 30, 2014
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Feb 13, 2011
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