Media praise for Working With Your Doctor: Getting the Healthcare You Deserve

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"Working with Your Doctor fills a genuine need for patients and their family members caught up in this new and intimidating age of impersonal, economically-driven health care delivery. The author systematically and meticulously covers all the bases from how to prudently select and subsequently interact with physicians to dealing effectively with tests, grievances, hospitals and insurance carriers. Upon finishing this eminently readable book, the only questions left unanswered is why [Nancy Keene] didn't give it to us sooner. Had she done so, I would have suggested it as a 'must reading' for my medical students and residents. In my opinion, it says more about the 'art of medicine' than anything since Sir William Osler's classic on the subject. Patients and doctors alike owe Nancy Keene a large debt of gratitude." --James Dougherty, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Surgery, Albany Medical College

"Working with Your Doctor is excellent. I read nearly all the 'how to' books about medicine that I see, and I am generally disappointed. They are usually too simplistic, too unrealistic, or too mechanical. The essence of medicine and the experience of healing is in relationships -- the primary relationship being the doctor, with whom we must trust not only our life, but our heart and soul. We are more than machines to be serviced by competent mechanics. This book captures the critical human dimension -- not only of patients, using their own stories and voices, but also bringing in the human dimension of physicians as well. The model of partnership emphasizes that the relationship is not something that occurs just because someone picks a doctor off of an HMO list and sees him or her for a few five-minute visits. A partnership is a relationship in evolution over time and experience with one another. Working with Your Doctor captures all of that...very impressively." --Dr. Linda Peeno, Chair of Ethics Committee, University of Louisville Hospital

"I am a heavy user of the medical system and I found Working with Your Doctor to be a welcome source of information. It helps readers approach the medical system as educated consumers and to consider practitioners of medicine as sometimes fallible human beings. It gives many excellent ideas on how to achieve a good partnership with doctors. I plan to send a copy of the book to my mother, my sister, my brother, and my best friend." --Patty Feist, Administrator, PED-ALL; editor, Ped Onc Resource Center

"Extremely well done! I ordered one copy for myself, then after reading it, ordered 10 copies to distribute to my friends, family, and my local public library." --Janet Carleton, Archivist, Ohio University

"In her superb Working with Your Doctor: Getting the Healthcare You Deserve (O'Reilly & Associates, $15.95, 357 pages), Nancy Keene writes, 'What I discovered--often the hard way--is that the two most powerful weapons in dealing with doctors are information and an assertive but friendly attitude.'

"To compile this practical patients' handbook, Miss Keene draws not only from her own extensive experience as a patient and caregiver, but also from a vast network of 'medical frequent fliers'-patients with serious illnesses who have learned to negotiate the intricacies of today's medical system. Their anecdotes-poignant, infuriating and sometimes horrifying-make for lively reading.

"That's not to say the book is only for readers with serious illnesses. It also offers a wealth of information for those with minor ailments, frustrated by long delays in the waiting room or by doctors who refuse to take their complaints seriously. 'I trust all my doctors to be entirely human,' one frequent flier advises. 'That is, I trust them to, from time to time: make mistakes, forget, overlook things, mix up facts. Bottom line: they're just people. And that's sufficient reason to watch, check and question.'

"At the heart of getting good medical care is a healthy dialogue with your doctor, Miss Keene writes. Unfortunatley, there is something about the antiseptic setting of a hospital or doctor's office that intimidates even the boldest patients. When the diagnosis is life-threatening, it's all but impossible to remain poised and collected. There are ways to prevail, however. 'A crucial part of healing is the need to feel cared for as a person,' and not 'the liver in room 103.' Something as simple as talking about the non-medical parts of your life can make all the difference.

"If you are confused by what the doctor tells you, ask for clarification. Sometimes doctors don't realize how much they speak in their own shoptalk, even to patients. 'In the world of doctors, hair loss is alopecia and heart attacks myocardial infarctions,' she notes.

"A very helpful chapter involves 'Questions to ask about tests, drugs, and surgery.' Simply because a doctor recommends a procedure does not mean it must be done. Ask about alternative procedures or medications.

"And don't worry about hurting your doctor's feelings by seeking a second opinion, especially if the diagnosis involves surgery. 'You have nothing to lose, and your life to gain, if you seek another opinion after a diagnosis of a potentially fatal or disabling disease,' Miss Keene writes.

"The book offers a revealing glimpse at commonly used tactics in managed care. HMOs have become a favorite target of both patients and doctors frustrated by a system geared to provide care at a profit. Take the 'automatic refusal,' for example. Horror stories abound of HMOs that have refused to pay for procedures. In fact, many HMOs reject claims automatically, because they know a certain percentage of patients will simply accept the denial. One veteran of several HMO battles describes how his company routinely honored claims, but only after patients appealed their initial denial."

--Ruth Larson, Washington Times Books section, October 11, 1998