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Every Patient Tells A Story

Sanders Book Review
Krista Russell
Patient Care

Every Patient Tells A Story
            The book, Every Patient Tells A Story, written by Lisa Sanders, M.D. goes into depth about many tough diagnostic cases that doctors encounter in the hospital setting. Throughout the book she describes different scenarios that deal with different diagnoses and the process to getting to those diagnoses whether they were correct the first time or not. She goes into detail about what both the doctor and patient were thinking and their reactions to the diagnosis. Also she records her different encounters with other doctors and their opinions over the ever fading physical examinations and the new high tech testing on patients.

            Throughout the book, Sanders uses physicians’ encounters with patients who have been through many tests and doctors just to get to a diagnosis for their pain. Some of these doctors think that there is more than just a simple diagnosis to help the patient, like when Sanders had to diagnose a patient of old age with heart disease, low blood pressure, and had pain during the physical exam. She had to confide in a third-year resident who diagnosed the patient in a matter of seconds. However, not all experienced doctors in the book could diagnose this quickly. Some had to go through many tests and ask many physicians that specialize in certain areas of expertise to get a correct diagnosis. These stories alone changed my opinion of how I view doctors and how they retrieve the right diagnosis. I thought that it was all simple enough, that each disease or illness has specific symptoms and cures and all they had to do was look it up in some medical education book. This book not only changed my mind about doctor’s jobs, but also my respect for them. It made me realize that diagnosis is not that easy; as times change so does the disease and illness. They become harder to recognize and it requires more time and thinking, and a hospital full of ill patients makes it hard to dedicate an extensive amount of time to each patient. 

            Also, in the book, the author attends seminars discussing opinions of the physical exam and new testing as well as personal discussions with physicians over the topic. Some doctors in the book prefer one to the other and discuss why they think so, and it was interesting to me to read how they back up their opinions. Also Sanders’ experience with medical schools showed that many medical students have no idea how to give proper physical exams, and the universities reactions to this information changed the way they are educating their students. Not only do med students have a difficult time giving a physical exam, they have a hard time remembering a  simple medical diagnosis like a heart murmur.  Reading this made me feel like I need to be prepared at all times to take any kind of x-ray that the doctors ask for so that they can be in and out in no time. This also makes me look like a well prepared technician and that’s exactly how I want to be when I step foot in the clinical environment.

                               Krista RussellKrista Russell