Cover image for How not to be my patient : a physician's secrets for staying healthy and surviving any diagnosis
How not to be my patient : a physician's secrets for staying healthy and surviving any diagnosis
Creagan, Edward T.
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Publication Information:
Deerfield Beach, Fla. : Health Communications., [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 310 pages ; 23 cm
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RA776 .C8126 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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"By the time I see most of my patients, they have weeks, not months, left to live,"says Edward T. Creagan, M.D., cancer specialist and professor, Mayo Clinic Medical School. "Let there be no doubt, they are courageous, and we have many incredible success stories that defy what we know about cancer. But truth be known, half of my patients never needed to walk into my exam room because their cancers were related to lifestyle choices they made along the way. I'm not placing blame or guilt. In this book, I will tell you what you can do, for yourself and your family, so you won't ever be my patient."

How Not to Be My Patient teaches people how to talk so their doctors will listen. Dr. Creagan shares insights doctors are never taught in medical school-insights readers will be surprised to learn. He takes readers inside the examination room and teaches them how to make the most of their seven minutes-the average time of an office visit. Every one of us can lower our own risk of premature death and disability right now-it's never too late. But first, we need to take personal responsibility for our own health and welfare in order to decrease the risks of developing diseases, especially cancer-the most-feared disease of all.

With Dr. Creagan's prescription for prevention and survival, readers can take control of their health care, their medical records and their decision making. Dr. Creagan will also show patients how to wisely select and build partnerships with their doctors, even though today's bureaucratic strangleholds are driving doctors to retire early and forcing patients to the Internet for advice.

For those whose future includes an encounter with a life-changing illness such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes, Dr. Creagan has this empowering message: You can survive any diagnosis.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Creagan, a cancer specialist at the highly acclaimed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and co-writer Wendel present a hopeful yet realistic view of cancer treatment and prevention. Having treated thousands of cancer patients in the past 35 years, Creagan has seen it all. Contrary to its title, however, the book fails to reveal any truly earth-shattering secrets, but it does offer a comprehensive overview of the best ways to prevent cancer or deal with a diagnosis. Creagan stresses that a diagnosis of cancer need not be a death sentence, nor are our health destinies solely defined by heredity. A number of factors influence health, and Creagan outlines the ways to combat disease. Along with religion, spirituality and connectedness, Creagan advocates lifestyle changes, explaining that exercise, nutrition and early detection all play vital roles. The book includes a helpful section on how to communicate effectively with a physician as well as an explanatory checklist of important diagnostic tests. Becoming an "empowered" patient is crucial; Creagan suggests that all patients maintain copies of their medical records. Creagan responsibly and compassionately covers the many steps readers can take to give themselves the best odds of surviving or avoiding cancer and other diseases. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Creagan, a Mayo Clinic cancer specialist, teams with Wendel, a consumer health information specialist, to outline how anyone can reduce the chances of being diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other major illnesses. Unlike other physician-written how-to-stay-healthy books, their guide addresses not only the body but the mind and spirit as well, discussing lifestyle behavioral choices, judicious health screening, and effective doctor-patient relationships for both genders at any age. Part 1 defines good health skills, such as exercise, nutrition, and eliminating negative behaviors (e.g., smoking). The authors also stress such psychosocial factors as having meaning and purpose in life. Part 2 outlines how to work with the doctor through good communication and becoming medically knowledgeable about one's health. Part 3 outlines how to survive any life-threatening diagnosis through additional measures, like a good support system, a good attitude, and appropriate complementary medicine. Incorporating patient stories, informative tables and sidebars, and encouraging "My Thoughts" at each chapter's end, the authors offer readers a sensible game plan for maintaining health and reducing their risks of life-threatening diseases. Highly recommended for all public and health consumer libraries.-Janice Flahiff, Medical Coll. of Ohio, Toledo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



from Chapter 8 Get Your Seven Minutes' Worth The average doctor visit ranges from just seven to sixteen minutes. Sometimes twenty. You can make those precious minutes productive, or you can sit there and waste your time while the doctor never gets around to the real reason you showed up in the office. It's proven that many patients (mostly men) finally get around to mentioning the blood in the stool or chest pain when the doctor has his or her hand on the exam room doorknob and is about to exit. To get your seven minutes' worth, try to be the first patient in the morning. The doctor is fresher and might be more on schedule than later in the day. Chances are you'll get more of the doctor's time. You don't want to be scheduled at 11:30 just before lunch. You're definitely not going to get in on time. Another option is to be the first appointment after lunch. Frankly, the best time for a physical exam is the day after Thanksgiving and the week after Christmas. Most people are not focused on their health, and the waiting rooms are nearly empty. Bring with you everything you think the doctor may need. In fact, send medical records ahead, especially if you're seeing a new doctor. And I'll discuss medical records in much more detail later in this chapter because they really are vitalyou need to keep your own records. What are your expectations when you visit the doctor? One study in the United Kingdom asked patients in the waiting room what they wanted from their visit to a general practitioner. After the appointment, the researchers asked whether the patients' expectations were met. Most patients wanted the doctor to listen to them and then talk about their concerns. They felt this partnership would result in a mutual agreement about treatment. Patients also wanted the doctors to discuss how to stay healthy and reduce their risks for illness. Interestingly, in this study, when doctors took the time to have a dialogue about a condition, the patients didn't want (or need) prescription medication. How quickly some doctors dash off a prescription, tear it off the pad, and send the patient packing to the pharmacy, when in fact most patients don't want a prescription at alla prescription for a healthier life, perhaps, but not necessarily drugs. Unsaid but not forgotten Silence is not always golden, according to University of California-Davis researchers in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and what is left unsaid in the exam room is not necessarily forgotten by the patient. This research found that 9 percent of patients had something they wanted to ask their physicians but did not. Subsequently, they reported less improvement in their symptoms. Patients wanted to ask for more medical information, for a physical exam, for a diagnostic test or procedure, new medications, or referral to a specialistbut didn't ask. Whose fault is that? Whether the patient felt intimidated or simply forgot, there is a way to assure that your que Excerpted from How Not to Be My Patient: A Physician's Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving Any Diagnosis by Edward T. Creagan, Edward Creagan, All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.