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"YOU: The Smart Patient"-Required Reading for the Chronically Ill

by Lisa Copen  
3/18/2008 / Book Reviews

Book Review: "YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment," by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz

I picked up the book "YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment," by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz up a few years ago, not knowing that soon "Dr. Oz" and his cheery advice, even when discussing the most personal of issues, would become the next "hot topic" on Oprah. Seeing his likable personality has only made the book more enjoyable.

And that's why my review of this book is so complimentary. How can a book on medical jargon, resources, surgery preparation and worse case medical scenarios be enjoyable?

For starters, the book is packed full of information that we all need, but don't usually like to read. So it's given to the reader in small doses with creative layouts. Fun clipart, cartoons, tip boxes, a resource section and the offbeat humor throughout all the content actually keeps the reader interested.

There was a conscious decision to have this book be designed with the average person in mind, so it looks and reads more like your favorite consumer magazine than a medical journal.

The quality of the book doesn't end with the fun-looking pages, however. The content is superb. "YOU: The Smart Patient" tells you exactly how to become you own "medical detective" by looking more closely at your family tree and keeping track of your medical information in a journal at the back of the book.

It's written in conjunction with The Joint Commission, the health care community's leading oversight group, so there is no bias in the authors' advice.

It's also full of great checklists for you or someone who may accompany you on medical visits or hospital stays. It provides simple reminders, like how to confirm with your surgeon which body part is being treated, what medications you have an allergy to, and how to confirm that your prescription drugs are the correct ones, since so many medications sound alike.

It goes on to advise one on finding the right doctor, hospital, and insurance company, working with specialists, how to be your nurse's favorite patient, alternative medicine, pain management, and understanding why doctors may look a little tired sometimes.

"YOU: The Smart Patient" is a five-star book and the best $15 you will ever spend in managing our health, especially if you have a chronic illness!

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