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Every Patient Tells a Story
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About the Author

Lisa Sanders, M.D. is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine and a clinician educator in Yale's Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency program. Dr. Sanders writes the popular "Diagnosis" column, which appears monthly in The New York Times Magazine.

Her column was the inspiration for the acclaimed Fox television show "House M.D.," and she currently serves as technical advisor for the show. Although teaching about clinical reasoning and diagnostic error is her first love, much of her research and practice focus on the treatment of overweight and obese patients She is the author of The Perfect Fit Diet: How to Lose Weight, Keep it Off And Still Eat the Foods You Love. Before entering medical school, Sanders was an Emmy Award-winning producer at CBS News, where she covered medicine and health and she also worked as a producer at ABC and NBC News. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Reviews

Sanders, a former journalist who is now a practicing internist and faculty member at Yale University's School of Medicine, writes a regular column for the New York Times Magazine featuring puzzling medical diagnoses. She has, however, a far wider audience as the inspiration and consulting producer for the Fox TV series House. A collection of her Times Magazine columns, Diagnosis reads like a season of House, minus quirky actor Hugh Laurie, but these accounts of anonymous patients with complicated symptoms and doctors demonstrating their diagnostic prowess are riveting nonetheless. Like heroes of detective fiction, the skilled physicians here bring a combination of exceptional knowledge, intuition, and occasional luck to solve mysteries and, often, save lives. Readers will enjoy the unfolding conundrums, but, perhaps more important, they will come away with a new appreciation for the enormous complexity of the human body and the doctors who face its challenges. Fascinating and skillfully written; highly recommended for health sciences and public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/08.]-Kathy Arsenault, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

In her first book, internist and New York Times columnist Sanders discusses how doctors deal with diagnostic dilemmas. Unlike Berton Roueche in his books of medical puzzles, Sanders not only collects difficult cases, she reflects on what each means for both patient and struggling physician. A man arrives at the hospital, delirious, his kidneys failing. Batteries of tests are unrevealing, but he quickly recovers after a resident extracts two quarts of urine. An abdominal exam would have detected the patient's obstructed, grossly swollen bladder. The author then ponders the neglect of the physical exam, by today's physicians, enamored with high-tech tests that sometimes reveal less than a simple exam. Another patient, frustrated at her doctor's failure to diagnose her fever and rash, googles her symptoms and finds the correct answer. Sanders uses this case to explain how computers can help in diagnoses (Google is not bad, she says, but better programs exist). Readers who enjoy dramatic stories of doctors fighting disease will get their fill, and they will also encounter thoughtful essays on how doctors think and go about their work, and how they might do it better. (Apr. 14) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Lisa Sanders is a paragon of the modern medical detective storyteller. The tales here crackle with suspense. But what sets her apart is her Holmes-like eye for the clues-and her un-Holmes-like compassion for those who suffer.
--Atul Gawande, author of Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance and Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Dr. Lisa Sanders is the most acute observer of health care in America. In this compelling book, she opens the black box of diagnosis and lets us look inside.
--Ian Ayers, author of Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart Not 'whodunit' so much as 'whatdunit, ' Lisa Sanders' s book brilliantly conveys the sleuthing that lies at the heart of medical diagnosis. But this is more than a set of suspenseful tales unfolded by a skilled storyteller. Amid all the flash and dazzle of the modern doctor's high-tech armamentarium, Dr. Sanders finds that all too often it is the ancient skills, of touch and of attentive listening, that serve the physician, and her patients, best of all. Enlightening for patients, essential for practitioners, this book should be read by every doctor. I'm praying that mine will.
--Geraldine Brooks, author of March, People of the Book, and Nine Parts of Desire Lisa Sanders has written a beautiful, thought-provoking book about the sine qua non of medical care-diagnosis. She tells stories about great diagnostic triumphs and explains both the pitfalls and successes of diagnosis. Her patient stories captivate the reader as we try to solve the unfolding mystery. Through these stories we understand and remember the importance of accurate diagnosis.
--Robert Centor, MedRants.com Every Patient Tells a Story is a must-read for anyone who has ever been a patient or is a doctor. Written by a physician I respect and a writer I love, the book is filled with intriguing diagnostic dilemmas that will draw you in, and with human stories that will linger in your mind--and heart--long after you are done.
--Pauline W. Chen, author of Final Exam

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