Making Informed Medical Decisions
Where to Look and How to Use What You Find
Publisher: O'Reilly Media / Patient Centered Guides
Released: July 2000
Pages: 381

It's no secret that millions of us are more involved in our own health care decisions--whether we want to be or not. We may be looking for the latest advance that might give us an edge in survival; looking for complementary treatments to help a chronic condition; investigating whether a treatment recommendation is good medicine or cost-cutting; studying to understand what the doctor told us in our allotted ten- minute visit; or trying to understand if a media story or pharmaceutical ad applies to our situation.

However, we're starting our search without much context of what we're looking for or understanding of how we might make best use of the array of resources. Making Informed Medical Decisions illuminates the process. Its subject matter includes:

  • Tips for researching for someone else
  • Reading a journal article (and understanding what it says)
  • Making practical sense of statistics and risk
  • Understanding variations and advances in standard treatment options
  • Exploring complementary treatments
  • Locating a likely clinical trial
  • Making a powerful ally of your doctor

Authors Oster, Thomas, and Joseff offer the shared viewpoints of patient advocate, medical librarian, and medical doctor--each of whom is dedicated to teaching and empowering. Stories from dozens of patients and family members looking for their own answers are included.

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