Friday, October 22, 2010

Books Read: Diagnosis: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Medical Mysteries

My youngest son was diagnosed with VSD-in-failure last year, so we spent almost five month in hospital. Many new things I’ve learned there (good and bad) and I’ve meets all kind of people (doctors, nurses and patients). I really into this medical thingy and that one of the reason I bought this book. In this book, Dr Lisa Sanders exposed us the process of diagnosis, how the doctors and expertise tackle diagnostic dilemmas and dramatic stories of patients with mysterious symptoms. I enjoyed the chapter where doctors make wrong decision, leads to diagnostic errors and how they overcome it. I highly recommend this book to be read by doctors and future doctors so they can prepare themselves the real life at hospital. As for us, it’s a MUST read because we never know that some day we will be a patients and we have to tell a complete story to the doctor to avoid misdiagnosis. Here is some of my favorite quotes from this book.
Doctors are human beings and, thus are prone to biases, distortions of perspective and blind spots. But doctors have the capacity to learn from their mistakes, overcome built-in biases, and guard against the kinds of thinking errors that in other professions might be an annoyance. (Page 271)
“There’s no shame in intubating the esophagus”, he said. But there is shame in not checking or catching the error. Errors themselves are unavoidable. Mistakes will always happen – all types of mistakes, from the technical to the cognitive. But that doesn’t mean we throw up our hands in helplessness. The key is designing our systems, our procedures, our protocols and our own thinking process to minimize mistakes as much as possible and then to catch mistakes when they are made.(page 272)

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