Item description for The Secrets of Medical Decision Making: How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of the Health Care Machine by Oleg I. Reznik...
We are all patients at some time. Is the medical industry giving us the best treatment possible, at the best price? We all know that it isn't. My book, The Secrets of Medical Decision Making: How to avoid becoming a victim of the Health Care Machine, shows what goes on behind the scenes of the current medical care and how it impacts the patient. I describe actual cases from my clinical practice showing the most common paths that lead to increased patient suffering. I then offer possible solutions.
My book covers all the health care settings a reader may encounter: outpatient (the most common type of health care setting encountered by patients), the inpatient (hospital), preventive (patients who are not sick but seek preventive services), and end-of-life care setting. The latter may be especially pertinent in the view of the recent public tragedy of the Terri Schiavo case.
Personal stories of the patients that I encountered make this reading easy to relate to. The experiences of patients are used as starting points to show how doctor's decisions are affected by a variety of non-medical considerations.
I introduce a concept of a Medical Box---forces that have a stronger hold on most physicians than the heavy chains of prison shackles. Here are, what I call, the four corners of the Medical Box:
Fear of litigation.
Financial and time pressure.
Guidelines of Health Care authorities.
The current Medical Model---disease oriented thinking.
The text illustrates how each of these is played out in everyday patient care. A number of practical recommendations are offered. The most important theme, overarching the entire book, is empowering prospective patients to use their own common sense and trust their own judgment in making medical decisions about their medical care.
A foreword to the book is written by Colin P. Kopes-Kerr, MD, JD, MPH, who is a Vice Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine, and Program Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program, at University Hospital and SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Secrets of Medical Decision Making: How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of the Health Care Machine?
Must Reading Aug 4, 2008
Learn the truth about the medical industry and it's wasteful and dangerous business scams. What you will learn may save your life.
"Primum Non Nocere" Jul 30, 2006
House, E.R. and Grays Anatomy are not realistic portrayals of the American medical system. According to Dr. Resnik physicians are so afraid of litigation that any deviation from pre-set protocols to treat the patient as an individual and not the so-called disease is unusual. Doctors like Greg House, John Carter would be immediately dismissed and find it impossible to acquire mal-practice insurance. It is chilling to think that the media inspired idea of the omnipotent good-hearted doctor like Marcus Welby or reassuring throaty voiced Dr. Kelly Bracket from Emergency is so false. When sickness strikes us or a loved one, we expect that in this technological twenty-first century age of marvels that just like our cars or appliances that have `crapped the bed': A. We can be fixed with some kind of medication or therapy. Or B. Our parts can be removed and replaced and we can continuer our lives already in progress and unabated.
Doctor Reznik has pried our heads from the sand, removed our rose-colored glasses and has cut off our source of pap from the glass teat. He has taught us to advocate for ourselves and ask questions, even while the insurance and pharmaceutical behemoths perpetuate the myth that an American homeostasis of mental and physical health is only one more pill, test or procedure away.
Review: The Secrets of Medical Decision Making Jun 27, 2006
In this work, Dr. Reznik alerts the consumer to the reality of today's medicine and its practices. He presents a medical industry that places the individual physician in a `box' that influences his decision-making beyond what is always best for the patient. Dr. Reznik position is that the modern physician is unduly influenced by the fear of litigation, the need to follow untested medical guidelines, the pressure of the pharmacology industry and the demands of the insurance companies. He presents a compelling case for his beliefs. His thesis is presented in short chapters of two or three pages that use interesting case studies to inform the reader about their need to ask questions and take charge of their own medical needs. His writing style is easy to digest and compelling. This work is an effortless read and easy for the layperson to understand. My one complaint is in the displayed copies of medical records, notes and tests results as the printing is blurred and difficult to see. Dr. Reznik's concern that many patients allow the medical industry to take over their individual decision-making is unfortunately very accurate - too many patients get caught up in endless consultations and unnecessary tests. My one very strong objection is to Dr. Reznik's dismissal of the need for cancer screening. As a cancer survivor myself, I believe the truth gives the patient the power of control. To tell the public that cancer screening, especially mammography, is not necessary is extremely dangerous and endangers lives unnecessarily.
Important, Enlightening, Instructive, an Eye Opener May 26, 2006
Oleg I. Reznik M.D. has coined the term "Medical Box" to illustrate the boxed-in thinking imposed on physicians. He calls the four corners of the box: fear of litigation, financial and time pressure, guidelines of Health Care authorities, and the current Medical Model, disease oriented thinking.
Dr. Reznik uses vignettes from actual medical records, his own experience, and from the experiences of his colleagues to further illustrate the implications of the obstacles placed on the physician and the medical profession as a whole.
Each vignette reflects the perspective of the physician, the patient and family, sometimes the societal, and finally the spiritual/philosophical view as it relates to treatment, suffering, guilt, and in the final preparation of facing death.
Reznik supports the belief that the patient should assume more responsibility in learning the options available to him, the side effects that may result, and the expected results of taking action. He suggests asking these three questions. What is the doctor trying to find out from the testing? How will this additional information affect medical management and prognosis? What does the testing entail? What are the risks of test or procedure?
"Secrets of Medical Decision Making" freely uses detailed descriptions of medical treatments, tests, and procedures written in a layman's language. Rezik has produced an outstanding work. This is a guide to help patients avoid becoming victims of the health care machine. It is truly an eye opener. Dr. Rezik is well qualified to write this book. He is a board certified family physician. This study is an important addition to studies on patient advocacy. Rezik has done thorough research and has provided comprehensive reference documentation. Physicians, medical practitioners, and patients will all benefit from reading this book. It is both, enlightening, and instructive. This is a book to be read and read again.
Informative. Always ask "why?" Feb 28, 2006
Reviewed by Kelli Glesige for Reader Views (2/06)
If you want to know why doctors make some of the recommendations they do, then here is the book for you. Speaking as both a physician and a patient, Reznik helps us to understand what motivates our physicians and why they often say the things they do. "The Secrets of Medical Decision Making" is a book we can all benefit from reading because we all need health care at some time, or we are put in the situation of needing to make medical decisions for another. Oleg I. Reznik, M.D. has a goal of making us conscious and informed in the medical decisions we must make; by doing so we could have a much better health care system than we currently have.
Reznik calls our current health care system The Health Care Machine because it has become so mechanical. So many demands must be met that it is almost like an assembly line. As patients, we need to have freedom to make our choices and to question the system. The physicians and other health care workers are placed in a position called The Medical Box within The Health Care Machine because they are pressured to have only a standard, mechanical response to any given set of problems. As patients, we need to be aware of this system and the way it works so we can be aware of the limitations. Doctors are not omnipotent, which so many of us want to believe, and they should be relieved of such a burden, but so often, they are forced to stay "in the box" to protect themselves.
To ease our understanding of the material Reznik presents, he addresses four different viewpoints with each topic. Patient/Family Perspective deals with issues that would be most relevant to prospective patients and their families. Physician's Perspective gives the physicians viewpoint on the discussed topic. Societal Perspective gives the ramifications on the society as a whole. Spiritual/Philosophical Perspective talks about the spiritual and philosophical aspects of medical care because these cannot be taken from any attempt at trying to understand a human being. Dr. Reznik presents true stories of actual clinical studies in his book to help explain the "rules of the game" in this game of health care. He wants us to understand what drives the doctor so that we can learn to be more self-reliant.
I found the information on several different medical tests to be quite informative. We are given some questions to think about before agreeing to a test and the reasons why doctors prescribe the tests to begin with. Reznik speaks at length about prostate screening and the treatment of prostate cancer, mammograms, and how the statistics on cancer survival have progressed. All the information he presents is quite interesting and worth one's time to read in order to be a more informed individual.
Everyone may not find all the information presented by Reznik to be relevant, but we can all benefit from the ideas presented. I personally will feel less intimidated the next time I ask, "Why?" when the doctor recommends something I am not sure about. Take charge of your health and do what is best for YOU. Reading this book is well worth anyone's time who wants to be an informed patient.