Author: Trisha Torrey
ISBN: 978-1934938881
Publisher: Langdon Street Press

Prodded by her own terrifying experience with her encounter with her health system in the USA, when, over five years ago, she was misdiagnosed with cancer, Trisha Torrey has taken matters into her own hands and has become an Empowered Patient (emPatient)- a tag, she coined.

At the core of Torrey’s You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes: How To Fix Them to Get the Healthcare You Deserve are twenty-five chapters that detail what she believes to be the biggest blunders that patients make concerning their health care. Exploring these ten errors and using a no-nonsense approach, Torrey shares with us her wisdom in how we can become empowered in taking control of our own health care. Readers will learn how to navigate the challenges of the healthcare maze, involve themselves in their own care decisions, communicate more effectively with their providers, gain more knowledge of treatment options, thwart medical errors and how to assess and weigh the bombardment of ads we receive daily on the TV and radio concerning various medications and treatments.

Beginning with an overview of why the American Healthcare System is so flawed and how the book will help us get the care we deserve, Torrey proceeds to address and explore such issues as: why we are making these errors: why healthcare is not focused on the patient: the doctors point of view and why often they do not put their patients needs first: who are the healthcare providers and what do they actually provide: how do you decide who is the right doctor for your particular case, as no one should have to put up with unprofessional or incompetent providers: avoiding a wrong diagnosis that can be disastrous, leading to an incorrect treatment, long-term illness or even death: how to get the right diagnosis that is actionable: researching out all your treatment options and discovering new treatment options: how to make a medical decision: the false impression that you are safe in the healthcare system and staying safe in a healthcare environment: not grasping the reach or risk of medical records: how to understand and protect your medical records: using the Internet to seek out information and how to evaluate this information: mistaken belief that all medical researchers are searching for cures: guide to medical research: paying attention to the media and their influence: guide to reading between the headlines and finally the future of American healthcare.

Each chapter reflects Torrey’s copious research and experiences, as she focuses on the essentials of the problems and how readers can approach them. For example, dealing with doctors who do not listen to their patients, and the lack of trust and confidence between the doctor and patient; the dilemma of practicing too much defensive medicine that leads to an adversarial situation between the doctor and the patient, rather than creating team members; the lack of transparency concerning the existence of new treatments; the belief that is still held by many patients that the doctor is God, benevolent and paternalistic; a health system that rewards the quantity of care rather than the quality of care that often leads to the practice of bad medicine.

The ending of each chapter concludes with the EmPatient’s Bottom Line that highlights and summarizes the chapter’s principles. To illustrate, the chapter dealing with all your treatment options concludes with “An emPatient does her homework, researches possibilities, discusses them with the professionals, makes an objective decision, and then complies with that decision while continually working in partnership with her provider. As emPatients, we want the objective truth, and we want to make an analysis based on our own goals and hoped for outcomes, not someone else’s.”

In addition, the book includes a very helpful section of resources and recommended readings that are connected to the book’s respective chapters.

It is not an easy task to convey all the stimulating and enlightening information Torrey shares with us in this short review. Basically, the book is a well-constructed, nonacademic guide that offers us the know-how to help us make sense of our healthcare system. Moreover, Torrey delivers with every page in plain and unadorned language a new clarity reminding us that just in the same way we should be vigilant concerning a commodity or service we purchase, we should, likewise, be well informed about managing our own healthcare. She writes with great insight, as she presents tools, tactics and perspective-changing attitudes that encourage us to become less timid of the healthcare system while overcoming the hurdles the system puts in front of us. In a nutshell, and as Torrey emphasizes, in order to become more empowered we need to take more personal responsibility for our health care, becoming diligent, informed, pro-active and engaged.

Author's Bio: 

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