“This important and riveting book could change—and perhaps even save—your life.”—Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on HappinessMaking the right medical choices is harder than ever. Whether we’re deciding to take a cholesterol drug or choosing a cancer treatment, we are overwhelmed by information from all sides: our doctors’ recommendations, dissenting expert opinions, confusing statistics, conflicting media reports, the advice of friends, claims on the Internet, and a never-ending stream of drug company ads. Your Medical Mind shows us how to chart a clear path through this sea of confusion.Drs. Groopman and Hartzband reveal that each of us has a set of deeply rooted beliefs whose profound influence we may not realize when we make medical decisions. How much trust we place in authority figures, instatistics or in other patients’ stories, in technology or in natural healing, and whether we seek the most or theleast treatment—all are key factors that shape our choices. Recognizing our preferences and the external factors that might lead our thinking astray can make a dramatic, even lifesaving, difference in our medical decision making. When conflicting information pulls us back and forth between options, when we feel pressured by doctors or loved ones to make a particular choice, or when we have no previous experience to guide us through a crisis, Your Medical Mind will prove to be an essential companion.The authors interviewed scores of patients and draw on research and insights from doctors, psychologists, economists, and other experts to help explain the array of forces that can aid or impede our thinking. They show us the subtle strategies drug advertisers use to influence our choices. They unveilthe extreme—sometimes dangerously misleading—power of both narratives and statistics. And theyhelp us understand how to improve upon a universal human shortcoming—assessing the future impactof the decisions we make now.
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