Kirkus Star


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Judging by the spate of let-us-educate-the-patient books, there'll be little left to the imagination of anyone encountering the medical profession. Without the melodrama, cardiologist Rosenfeld does for the general medical checkup what Robin Cook did for anaesthesia and surgery in Coma: he gives you a blow-by-blow description of what the doctor is doing and why, from the initial taking of the medical history to the interpretation of lab tests. The medical history alone occupies a third of the book with the whys and wherefores of some 80 questions (""Have you recently begun to feel 'old' and tired for no apparent reason?"" ""Does food ever get stuck when you swallow?""). Then on to the exam and full explanations of all the probes and auscultations; why you're told to be silent or to breathe through your mouth; what the doctor sees when he looks into your eyes; and so on. There's a lot of sound and useful information here if you're not exhausted in the survey! (Individual chapters enlarge on questions and related topics, focusing on one part of the body or major system, so you can concentrate your reading accordingly.) Dr. Rosenfeld is clearly an earnest fellow, not afraid to say ""I"" or confess to an occasional error, and interested in getting you to cooperate in the exam by understanding what it's all about. He believes that in that way the patient becomes a full partner in the search to discover if anything is wrong medically or in the quest to stay healthy. The prose, while not brilliant, is clear and to the point. Commendable.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1978
Publisher: Simon & Schuster