Board-certified family physician Liu shares insider tips for navigating personal health care.
Operating under the assumption that the American health care system is byzantine and expensive, Liu guides patients through the process of finding the right doctors who can serve as health care advocates. Improving one’s medical care starts by becoming a good storyteller since “if your doctor doesn’t know, then he won’t know the right plan to determine the cause of your problem.” The doctor dismantles common myths: Technological advancements don’t necessarily translate to improved care since, as the author says, “Test results are not the absolute truth.” Many patients, in fact, receive the wrong diagnoses or undergo unnecessary tests since they didn’t explain their condition well, the doctor didn’t listen to them, or there were other communication errors. Liu reiterates a common refrain: Eat right, maintain a healthy weight and exercise. Liu also asserts that these aforementioned practices are “only part of the answer to staying well.” Preventative screening is also central to ensuring the best possible health. He contrasts examples of celebrities that benefited from screening, e.g., Sheryl Crow, whose breast cancer was detected early enough to save her, with those who were more lax, like Elizabeth Edwards, who had not been for a routine mammogram in several years. The book provides specific advice for medical checkups based on age, gender and family history, including recommended tests and frequency of visits to a general practitioner or specialist. Helpful links point to the Mayo Clinic and Kaiser-Permanente for information about conditions (instead of using “Dr. Google”). And the American Board of Internal Medicine can help find the doctors who are board-certified and more likely to be up on the latest research and useful treatments.
An accessible and invaluable guide for maximizing health care quality.