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Surviving Your Doctors: Why the Medical System is Dangerous to Your Health and How to Get through it Alive

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Richard S. Klein

With at least 100,000 hospital patients dying each year, associate professor and practicing internist Klein (From Anecdote to Antidote) calls medical malpractice in the U.S. a "pandemic," with mortality numbers comparable to "smoking, … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Nonfiction, Medical Care, Medical Errors
Author: Richard S. Klein
Genre: Medicine
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
1 review about Surviving Your Doctors: Why the Medical...

How to Keep Your Health Intact

  • Feb 13, 2010
Surviving Your Doctors :
Why the Medical System is Dangerous to Your Health
and How to Get Through It Alive
by Dr. Richard S. Klein MD

Reviewed by Dr. Joseph S. Maresca CPA, CISA

The author, Dr. Richard Klein, MD is attempting to
navigate the most controversial area of medicine in the USA.
The story begins with an ER physician
providing treatment which masks the cause of abdominal
pain and the patient dies. The book is replete with similar
stories of malpractice events which happen in various
medical contexts.

The book recommends getting catastrophic coverage for
patients who cannot afford full coverage. In my own experience,
there are other alternatives like the Hill Burton Program
which forgives facility mortgage debt in exchange for free
or significantly reduced health care. In addition, the
National Institutes of Health provides
free care for patients who qualify for the protocol.

In my own experience, the alternative of last resort is to
stay healthy through diet, exercise, maintaining medical
appliances at home, stress reduction and the judicious use
of supplements like ACES, calcium carbonate and Vit. D
[ Vitamin A, C,, E and Selenium = ACES ]

According to the author, a mere 5% of physicians are
responsible for 50% of the malpractice claims. On-line
record-keeping is mentioned as a potential solution provided
that mechanisms are available to prevent the deletion of
automated records. The book suggests that patients carry
thumbnail drives with medical data for emergencies.

I routinely keep important medical records available for
emergencies. Some of my own records date back
40 years. In my own experience, personal record-keeping
is necessary due to statutes of limitations and local law
which may limit the time physicians are legally required to
keep records.

Another sordid tale involved the story of a massive
gastrointestinal bleed caused by a gastric ulcer which ate
its way through the stomach wall of a patient .
Just several days before, the physician ignored a positive
result for blood in the stools. This story highlights the
need for patients to discuss out-of-range test conditions
with their physicians and second opinion consulting doctors.
In addition, there are a number of symptoms you should
never ignore. i.e.

o blood in the stools or urine
o black dots in the urine or significantly lower urine volume
o limitation of range of motion
o sharp throbbing pains
o the inability to produce sweat
o chronic red eye
o significantly out of range conditions on your blood/urine
work, x-rays

A strength of the book is that the author provides guidance
on how to avoid some of these medical errors. For instance,
patients should list complaints, review lab results,
make certain that the name is on all testing tubes,
keep copies of test results and obtain second opinions
where necessary. Selecting Board Certified physicians
is another important step. I have several physician
diplomates in my roster of care providers.

The author advises us to beat the odds by having yearly physicals.
Never ignore signs of disease like severely discolored skin,
lumps, chronic pain, range of motion restriction and a
plethora of symptoms too extensive to list in a finite review.

The book provides good descriptions of classic symptoms.
For instance, patterns of fever typified by severe shaking
chills may connote bacteria released into the bloodstream
from urinary tract infections or pneumonia. Food poisoning
may be treated by preventing dehydration via replacement of
fluids and electrolytes lost during bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.
In my own experience, food poisoning can be lessened
by eating at restaurants having a high volume of customers
with fresh food either cooked or delivered daily.

The book describes classic problems with outpatient care.
The issues involve complications which develop at home.
A thorough physician will give you an emergency number
to call or instruct you to get emergency medical treatment
if warranted. In addition, the physician should explain
what will constitute an emergency situation.
Sometimes, errors are made in radiology or in the lab work
labeling or interpretation.

There are classic signs of medical malpractice; namely,
o lack of physician skill
o overworking
o injury caused by medical support staff
o unsafe drugs or combinations of drugs
o hospital acquired infections like MRSA

The author puts a number on medical malpractice.
The cost is $36 billion dollars per year and growing.
A national database of errors is suggested as a
potential remedy. I believe that artificial intelligence
and "Advice Giving" algorithms can assist physicians
in understanding symptoms comprehensively for a
variety of standard and nuanced disease processes.

The book has an extensive bibliography. I would add
the Journal of the Lancet to the citations listed .
In addition, there should be another chapter which
covers nutrition. The Paleolithic Diet may be the
preferred eating regimen consisting of lean beef,
fish, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and water.
Our government should continue to tax vices
at a high rate, as well as junk food and soda .

In addition, our schools should get back into the
business of offering gymnastics in grade school,
high school and college . There should be special
tax credits for athletics and the maintenance of
athletic facilities beyond college. i.e. the workplace

Dr. Joseph S. Maresca CPA, CISA

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August 08, 2010
Sounds like a very helpful book. From my personal experience as well, most times I ended up leaving the doctor or the hospital feeling worse then before. Only when I took my health into my own hands and stopped relying on doctors, things improved immensely. Eating healthy and organic has helped our entire family! If I'm not mistaken, medical errors are now the leading cause of death in hospitals - above heart disease and cancer!
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