Our brand new book (Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them) has stirred up extraordinary emotions on all sides. Many doctors are mad as hornets. They hate the title and won’t even open the book. Some patients also complain about the “in-your-face” title. Others, however, have shared tragic stories of harm to a loved one. In many cases, the disability or death could have been prevented.
We are truly sorry that we have aggravated so many people, but we consider the silent epidemic of medical mistakes a national tragedy. Just as many people die from errors and health care harm as die from heart disease and cancer. Yet there is no outcry, and there has been little improvement in the decade since a landmark report was issued titled “To Err is Human.” That report by the Institute of Medicine acknowledged that as many as 98,000 people die in hospitals each year from medical mistakes. It turns out that number grossly underestimated the size of the problem.
Here is what some leading patient safety experts have said about our controversial new work:
“The book is filled with practical tips to empower patients. It should be required reading for every doctor.” That from Christopher Landrigan, MD, MPH, research director, Children’s Hospital Boston Inpatient Pediatric Service, director, Sleep and Patient Safety Program, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics, Harvard Medical School.
Allan Hamilton, MD, FACS, is professor of surgery and radiation oncology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center and author of The Scalpel and the Soul. He says:
“Joe and Teresa Graedon have performed an enormous public service by putting this book together. Unfortunately, an epidemic of medical adverse events–preventable lethal mistakes–are destroying the quality of American healthcare. In all my years as a physician and an advocate for a safer, error-free health care system, I have never seen a more practical and readable guide to help patients become more vigilant and proactive in preventing medical errors. If you or someone you love is facing a serious illness or major surgery, defend yourself: Buy this book, read it cover to cover. No one cares more about your life than you do. If you were faced with a lethal threat, you would naturally do everything in your power to defend yourself. Put this book in your holster. Arm yourself. Take it with you to the hospital. And save your own life.”
Alan Greene, MD, is Clinical Professor, Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine and founding president of the Society for Participatory Medicine:
“This could be one of the most important books you will ever read if you or a loved one will be dealing with doctors, hospitals or prescription medications–or if youʼre a doctor yourself. Read it through now, bring it with you to the hospital, and give it to those you care about. Joe and Terry Graedon have done it again!”
If you or someone you love could benefit from this book, we are offering an early bird special discount till the end of this month. We are also adding a free bonus book that you may wish to give as a present for the holidays. It is Favorite Foods From The People’s Pharmacy. This book is no longer for sale on our website and is unavailable in any bookstore. The original retail price was $14.95 and it is yours for free when you buy Top Screwups. Don’t worry that there is no reference to the free copy of Favorite Foods in the shopping cart. We promise that it will be included with every order.
We hope we can help you prevent a medical mistake from harming you or someone you care about with this book. We also hope that it will spur the healthcare system to wake up to this terrible problem and start to really make the changes that are necessary to improve patient safety. Help us get the word out that people must protect themselves by avoiding medical mistakes.

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  1. Judith P.

    Well, I am here at nearly 7pm on a Friday night, again. For what, the doctor is still seeing patients! No one wants to make mistakes and I think the title of the book somehow implies that physicians don’t care and make a lot of money. For many years (of 40) I worked as a house supervisor. That would be the nurse that tells the media patient status and is in charge when Sentinal Events occur. I can tell you that staff involved in these events are devastated. Everyone, from a patient care aid to the physician. It is life changing.
    How these events are reported is largely up to the State or the individual hospital. One Oregon hospital I worked at reported Sentinal Events to the media directly. Infection rates etc. can be found on their website.
    Its a tough business and getting tougher!

  2. Aubrey

    Of course doctors hate this book. It reminds them that they are not gods. Too many doctors have god-like egos and never want to be challenged. Perhaps this book will be a tool to crumble their ivory towers and enlighten the general public at the same time.

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