A more informally empathic manual for coping with the medical profession as a patient than Dr. Levin's (see below), although this contains the same general information but fewer hard specifics. Dr. Belsky's main and primary purpose seems to be to boost patient ego, first in debunking the ""medical mystique"" through which the god-like stance of the physician is perpetuated. Ideally the doctor should be an educator training a person to care for himself under supervision. Office visits should be a learning experience for all concerned. Be prepared to give--and receive--straight talk, detailed information and a good deal of consideration. In choosing a physician your reaction to him as a human being is ""the most important consideration in your choice,"" although Belsky includes suggestions for reviewing the doctor's background, training and experience. Most essential information can be acquired through direct questioning (How many of these operations have you done? How did they turn out? And don't be afraid to ask: ""Are you listening to me?""). There are sample lists of queries for oneself before making an appointment or a phone call, and others for quizzing medical personnel, procedures and medication. But above all, an open, mutually considerate relationship is the best foundation. For the more sophisticated ""consumer,"" Levin's book with its enormous number of check points is perhaps more complete; however for those who are still susceptible to that whiff of sanctity in the waiting room along with the National Geographic--this is therapeutic.