Patients should read this book. That means you.
"How Doctors Think," by Jerome Groopman, M.D., is surprisingly readable. I would describe the book as a "call to confidence" for laypeople, otherwise known as "patients." It explores the shadowy realms of cognition, wherein most medical mistakes occur. A misdiagnosis usually occurs because of cognitive, not technical, errors, regardless of the good intentions of the physician. Because of the training methods, unconscious stereotypes, and personal history of any given doctor treating any given patient, certain cognitive patterns will come into play that may lead to a misdiagnosis if the patient lacks the confidence to ask helpful questions of his or her doctor. The doctor NEEDS this level of action from his or her patient in order to remain open to all possibilities, and to provide the best care that they are able. Groopman's book openly and honestly lays out where mistakes occur using real life examples of miraculous catches and traumatic misdiagnoses, and explains clearly what specific questions a patient should feel confident in asking his/her doctor.