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Health Talk Recommends: Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head

I recently read Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head: 10 Commonsense Rules for Making Better Decisions about Medical Care by Phillip K. Peterson, M.D., professor of medicine and infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Upon completion of the book, I immediately handed it to my wife who is expecting our first child in September and said, “You need to read this book.”

Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head provides advice about how patients should take into account their doctor’s recommendations in an increasingly complicated medical world.

“My goal of this book is to improve communication between patients and doctors so patients can be in the driver’s seat of their personal medical decisions,” said Peterson. “In today’s era of shared decision making, it’s critical that you have language and information you can understand and I think that’s what I did in Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head.”

I personally enjoyed reading Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head for three main reasons:

  1. Relevant and helpful for everyone – Everyone at some point in their life will have to make a medical decision either personally or for a loved one. But how you and your doctor make that medical decision varies and it can have a tremendous effect on the medical outcome. The 10 commonsense rules outlined in the book can easily be applied to every medical decision and non-medical decisions. Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head should be read, reviewed or brought to your next doctor’s visit. The book has a very handy recap at the end and is perfect for a rules refresher when faced with a medical decision.
  2. Easy-to-understand examples and terminology – Oftentimes patients don’t speak up during a doctor’s visit out of fear that they will appear stupid for lack of medical knowledge and Peterson reiterates that this is the wrong thing to do. Using real patient examples from Peterson’s 40+ years as an infectious disease doctor, Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head provides easy-to-understand examples of why doctors made the decisions they did. Peterson is able to effectively communicate the medical situation using terminology that is easily digestible and understood. For those who want more information about a particular disease or condition discussed in a chapter, the appendix is a useful resource for further explanation. I also really enjoyed the quotes sprinkled throughout the book from some of the greatest minds including Buddha, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Plato.
  3. It’s short! – Acknowledging how busy and crunched for time everyone is today, Peterson said he purposefully made the book short (130 pages including the appendix). I was able to read Get Inside Your Doctor’s Head in three days while on the bus traveling to and from the University. Even though it is a quick read, it’s packed with great information, advice and tips for developing a better relationship and improving communication with your doctor.

For more on the 10 commonsense rules including when to apply and break them, visit Amazon.

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