Dispatches from the Frontlines of Medical Mysteries
Share this book
You’re a doctor, faced with a 22-year-old woman who is dying before your eyes. Previously fit, happy, and rarely ill now she’s wasting away, confined to a hospital bed. Test results are abnormal but inexplicable; a dozen other doctors have seen her but none have been able to figure out what’s wrong. It’s your job to save her. Where do you start? In movies diagnosis is the one-liner that separates the fascinating symptoms from the initiation of life-saving therapy. But in reality it’s a difficult, delicate blend of sophisticated technology and hands-on assessment. How a diagnosis is made is the most complex and exciting tale that doctors tell. “Diagnosis” combines the drama of House with the living, breathing world of real hospitals and real patients. Sanders, a practicing doctor, leads us from the moment the patient first appears, through the calculus of making a diagnosis, the necessary prerequisite to effective treatment. An endlessly fascinating medical detective story, “Diagnosis” opens up as never before the finer workings of the human body, and celebrates the dedicated physicians who we may all someday need to trust with our lives.
Dr Lisa Sanders is on the faculty of Yale University School of Medicine. Her widely read Diagnosis column appears monthly in the New York Times Magazine. She serves as a technical advisor for hose M.D. Before entering medical school, Dr. Sanders was an Emmy Award winning producer for CBS News, where she covered health and medicine.
‘If you need to be reminded that there are still diseases that can’t be cured in an hour – including commercial breaks – then this book is for you. Fantastic stuff.’
‘ ‘Diagnosis’ dispels such suspicions by slotting its string of rarities into a wider context, offering up a profound view of how doctors think…it is a wonderful read: thoughtful and gripping… It analyses the ambiguity and uncertainty that doctors need to live with, and the psychological and technical problems that result. Sanders reminds us that “doctors are human beings… prone to biases, distortions of perspective, and blind spots”. Her thrilling stories tell of successes and failures, and their struggle to learn from both.’
‘In her first book, internist and New York Times columnist Sanders discusses how doctors deal with diagnostic dilemmas. Unlike Berton Roueché in his books of medical puzzles, Sanders not only collects difficult cases, she reflects on what each means for both patient and struggling physician. A man arrives at the hospital, delirious, his kidneys failing. Batteries of tests are unrevealing, but he quickly recovers after a resident extracts two quarts of urine. An abdominal exam would have detected the patient’s obstructed, grossly swollen bladder. The author then ponders the neglect of the physical exam, by today’s physicians, enamored with high-tech tests that sometimes reveal less than a simple exam. Another patient, frustrated at her doctor’s failure to diagnose her fever and rash, googles her symptoms and finds the correct answer. Sanders uses this case to explain how computers can help in diagnoses (Google is not bad, she says, but better programs exist). Readers who enjoy dramatic stories of doctors fighting disease will get their fill, and they will also encounter thoughtful essays on how doctors think and go about their work, and how they might do it better.’
‘This is a wonderful book.’
‘Both interesting and thought-provoking … Whether or not you are working in the health sector, there is much in this book that will be of interest.’
You might also like…