Every Patient Tells A Story

Every Patient Tells A Story

Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
A riveting exploration of the most difficult and important part of what doctors do, by Yale School of Medicine physician Dr. Lisa Sanders, author of the monthly New York Times Magazine column "Diagnosis," the inspiration for the hit Fox TV series House, M.D.

"The experience of being ill can be like waking up in a foreign country. Life, as you formerly knew it, is on hold while you travel through this other world as unknown as it is unexpected. When I see patients in the hospital or in my office who are suddenly, surprisingly ill, what they really want to know is, ‘What is wrong with me?’ They want a road map that will help them manage their new surroundings. The ability to give this unnerving and unfamiliar place a name, to know it–on some level–restores a measure of control, independent of whether or not that diagnosis comes attached to a cure. Because, even today, a diagnosis is frequently all a good doctor has to offer."

A healthy young man suddenly loses his memory–making him unable to remember the events of each passing hour. Two patients diagnosed with Lyme disease improve after antibiotic treatment–only to have their symptoms mysteriously return. A young woman lies dying in the ICU–bleeding, jaundiced, incoherent–and none of her doctors know what is killing her. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Lisa Sanders takes us bedside to witness the process of solving these and other diagnostic dilemmas, providing a firsthand account of the expertise and intuition that lead a doctor to make the right diagnosis.

Never in human history have doctors had the knowledge, the tools, and the skills that they have today to diagnose illness and disease. And yet mistakes are made, diagnoses missed, symptoms or tests misunderstood. In this high-tech world of modern medicine, Sanders shows us that knowledge, while essential, is not sufficient to unravel the complexities of illness. She presents an unflinching look inside the detective story that marks nearly every illness–the diagnosis–revealing the combination of uncertainty and intrigue that doctors face when confronting patients who are sick or dying. Through dramatic stories of patients with baffling symptoms, Sanders portrays the absolute necessity and surprising difficulties of getting the patient’s story, the challenges of the physical exam, the pitfalls of doctor-to-doctor communication, the vagaries of tests, and the near calamity of diagnostic errors. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Sanders chronicles the real-life drama of doctors solving these difficult medical mysteries that not only illustrate the art and science of diagnosis, but often save the patients’ lives.

Baker & Taylor
Discusses the process of diagnosing illnesses, argues for the importance of reincorporating human observation tactics into physical exams, and describes unusual cases.

Blackwell North Amer
"The experience of being ill can be like waking up in a foreign country. Life, as you formerly knew it, is on hold while you travel through this other world as unknown as it is unexpected. When I see patients in the hospital or in my office who are suddenly, surprisingly ill, what they really want to know is, 'What is wrong with me?' They want a road map that will help them manage their new surroundings. The ability to give this unnerving and unfamiliar place a name, to know it - on some level - restores a measure of control, independent of whether or not that diagnosis comes attached to acute. Because, even today, a diagnosis is frequently all a good doctor has to offer."
A healthy young man suddenly loses his memory - making him unable to remember the events of each passing hour. Two patients diagnosed with Lyme disease improve after antibiotic treatment-only to have their symptoms mysteriously return. A young woman lies dying in the ICU - bleeding, jaundiced, incoherentand none of her doctors know what is killing her. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Lisa Sanders takes us bedside to witness the process of solving these and other diagnostic dilemmas, providing a firsthand account of the expertise and intuition that lead a doctor to make the right diagnosis.
Never in human history have doctors had the knowledge, the tools, and the skills that they have today to diagnose illness and disease. And yet mistakes are made, diagnoses missed, symptoms or tests misunderstood. In this high-tech world of modern medicine, Sanders shows us that knowledge, while essential, is not sufficient to unravel the complexities of illness. She presents an unflinching look inside the detective story that marks nearly every illness - the diagnosis - revealing the combination of uncertainty and intrigue that doctors face when confronting patients who are sick or dying. Through dramatic stories of patients with baffling symptoms, Sanders portrays the absolute necessity and surprising difficulties of getting the patient's story, the challenges of the physical exam, the pitfalls of doctor-to-doctor communication, the vagaries of tests, and the near calamity of diagnostic errors. In Every Patient Tells a story. Dr. Sanders chronicles the real-life drama of doctors solving these difficult medical mysteries that not only illustrate the art and science of diagnosis, but often save the patients' lives.

Baker
& Taylor

Presents an unflinching look inside the detective story that marks nearly every illness-the diagnosis-revealing the combination of uncertainty and intrigue that doctors face when confronting patients who are sick or dying--from the challenges of the physical exam to the pitfalls of doctor-to-doctor communication, the vagaries of tests, and the near calamity of diagnostic errors.

Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780767922463
0767922468
Characteristics: xxvii, 276 p. ; 25 cm

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Pisinga
May 17, 2013

This book is for everyone who is interested in medicine, and should be must for doctors and future doctors.
I liked that the author is not defending doctors for their mistakes in diagnosis of diseases, I would say she is defending patients. It is rare in medical literature for general public. Usually doctors are trying explain what was wrong from the point of view that patients are mostly to blame. In this book she is strongly advocates for physical examination of the patient's body, actually touching and feeling, and not just relying on tests and are limiting the diagnosis attributing all symptoms to common diseases. Kind of Sherlock Holms work should be done by each of doctors, no matter of medical field.

ksoles May 19, 2011

I've been reading a lot of non-fiction lately only because of what's become available from my library holds list. I enjoy the break from novels, though, and find that well-written books exploring the "real world" can be every bit as engaging. That's certainly the case with Lisa Sanders' first work. Dr. Sanders (Yale Med. Center) writes a fascinating monthly column for the New York Times magazine called "Diagnosis," in which she describes the process of diagnosing patients with strange, unpredictable and inexplicable symptoms.

Every Patient Tells a Story details the role of the physical exam in medicine, describing how doctors are taught the process, how hi-tech tests are replacing looking, listening and touching and how many medical errors are made when doctors neglect to either perform an exam or run appropriate tests.

The most interesting parts of the book are the specific case studies: everything from a patient who self-diagnoses her Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to one who lives for two years thinking she has Chronic Lymes Disease only to finally be diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis. Ultimately, the book argues that medicine is an art. Doctors are human and, thus, fallible, which provides no great comfort but at least makes the reader more sensitive to the intricacies of diagnosis.

h
HereHere
Apr 20, 2011

This would be an excellent book for high school and university. Every one of us has the potential to be a patient, and the more we can learn, the more we can help doctors if we need to. It is also important to practice preventive medicine (ie your food is your medicine, moderate exercise, healthy lifestyle), but this doesn't guarantee you won't someday face a rare disease or a common one.

l
lightbytheway
Oct 24, 2010

Every Patient Tells A Story
Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis
Sanders, Lisa

Read if for a second time. Informative and fast moving. Good for patients and doctors as well.

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