Author: Lawrence W. Gold, M.D.

Illustrator: Theresa Mccracken

Publisher: Grass Valley Publishing

ASIN: B00CLXLO6I


For those readers who, like myself, have to attend the doctor on a regular basis for checkups, or even for those who try to avoid anything medical until an emergency strikes, there is one thing that we would really like to know—how to communicate with our doctors better, so that we can maximize the benefits to be gained from our relatively short time with them. Patients tend to range between being absolutely pernickety, and attempting to get all their health problems for the last decade thoroughly analyzed within a 15-minute, begrudgingly-paid for appointment, and being just so scared of medical quackery that they can’t wait to skedaddle out the door with the latest prescription clutched in their sweaty little palms. This I have gathered from my own experience, varying from that with tiresome, querulous elderly aunts to my neighbor’s somewhat dyspeptic vision of an overnight stay in a hospital as being the last pit stop on earth on the headlong tumble into the pit that burns everlasting beneath us all. In short, I don’t believe, by any stroke of the imagination, that doctors tend to have it all their own way, and are out to ‘get ya’ more than you are ready and prepared to ‘get th’m’.

The above said, Dr. Larry Gold’s book is a humorous, but informed take, on the nitty gritty of the doctor—patient relationship, based on his extensive experience in the medical field, which has spanned decades of working as a physician both in private office and in hospital-based practice, as well as of serving as chief of a large department of internal medicine and family practice. Regarding good communication as the cornerstone of medicine, Dr. Gold explores the essence of such through numerous scenarios, fictional and not, in a way that brings his message alive in a way that is totally apposite to his subject. In a thoroughly humane and cogent way, he explores topics like how to handle tough, but essential questions and questioning; issues of medical malpractice; matching patient and physician; medical problems that physicians dislike (but which they, nevertheless, have to deal with); and finding a physician. His text is enlivened with a number of cartoons by Theresa Mccracken that help to bring the message home, and which make what he has to say all the more memorable.

In addition to the main text, Dr. Gold complements his central tenet with an introduction to, and glossary of, medical terminology and specialists, as well as providing valuable guidelines on how to find answers online to your most pressing questions (with several helpful URLs thrown in). Rounding off his overview of how to get the most out of the doctor—patient relationship, he gives brief, and extremely handy, pointers on how to make the right decisions when an emergency is staring you in the face (and no, he doesn’t suggest that you roll over and play dead).

You would do well to keep Dr. Gold’s witty and trenchant guide to physician—patient communication in your medical cabinet, but only after having chuckled along with it for a half hour of reading beforehand. There are plenty of home truths in this wise guide that belie its brevity—don’t take it for granted that you know it all, because you don’t. I know where my copy is going—onto the hall table, so that the next time my neighbor calls, it will be ready and waiting…


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