Doctors and nurses with clipboards

“Thanks so much for your wonderful newsletters, books, and web site. I am a Nurse Practitioner and have learned so much from you. I’ve copied the 10 top screw-up lists from your book and keep it for reference to help me prevent making some of those same mistakes.
“It’s wonderful to be able to suggest more natural benign, often topical remedies for common complaints instead of heavy duty medications with the potential for serious side effects.” –Carla


Dear Carla,
We always love hearing from health professionals such as yourself. We are so pleased that you found our book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them, of value.
Here is our list of the Top 10 Screwups you refer to above:
1. Not listening to patients
2. Misdiagnosing
3. Providing too little information
4. Not dealing with side effects
5. Undertreating or ignoring the evidence
6. Overreacting or being seduced by numbers
7. Overlooking drug interactions
8. Failing to revise the plan
9. Overlooking lab results
10. Not addressing lifesty le issues

For those who would like to learn more about the most common mistakes that are made in doctors’ offices, hospitals and pharmacies, we offer our book just out in paperback. You can also learn how to implement our:
Top 10 Tips to Stopping Screwups in Hospitals (page 22)
Top 10 Questions to Reduce Diagnostic Disasters (page 69)
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor When You Get a Prescription (page 95)
Top 11 Tips for Preventing Dangerous Drug Interactions (page 108)
Top 10 Tips for Taking Generic Drugs (page 139)
Top 10 Tips to Surviving Old Age (page 176)
Questions to Ask your Doctor Before Agreeing to Surgery (page 177)

Here is just one story to illustrate why it is essential to take a proactive stance to protect yourself or someone you love:

“Two years ago, I slowly began to develop aches and pains in my hands and feet, forearms and calves. These aches grew progressively more painful, with tingling sensations in my fingers and toes. After a month of this, I saw my doctor, and we ran lots and lots of tests, and tried all sorts of different painkillers. All the tests were negative, none of the painkillers worked. The pain continued to escalate until I was honestly contemplating suicide. The second neurologist I saw had the sense to put me on Neurontin (Gabapentin), an anti-seizure medicine that also works quite well on neuropathies. This reduced my pain to a tolerable (and live-able) level, but no-one could tell me what was causing the neuropathy to begin with. Test after test (including one very painful nerve conduction test) showed that nothing appeared to be wrong with me!
“Then I listened to your radio show about Celiac Disease! My doctor wasn’t impressed with this new insight, but agreed to test me. Of course the results were inconclusive, and so he wanted to get a small bowel biopsy. I politely declined. I figured, I can try eliminating gluten, and see what happens. I had read enough by then to know even if my neuropathy was caused by gluten intolerance, that the damage might be irreversible. But the prospect of taking Neurontin for life was a bit daunting, and so I tried the gluten-free diet.
“I won’t lie and say it was easy. Boy I miss bread! To this day the smell of garlic bread makes me a little crazy! But in 9 months I was completely off Neurontin and 95% pain-free!! I can’t tell you how WONDERFUL this is :) Two years after it all began I’m still mostly pain-free. Not only that, but I feel like a million bucks. I’ve lost 15 pounds, and walk nearly 5 miles a day! I guess in my 40s, I was resigned to the fact that this is what getting older means – gaining weight, irritable bowel, less energy. I have awakened to the flaw in my facts, and the magic of diet.

In Chapter 13 of the book you will learn about the top screwups in diagnosing and treating common conditions like celiac disease, Alzheimer’s disease, ADD, back pain, fibromyalgia, heartburn, hypothyroidism and osteoporosis, to name just a few.
Can you think of a better way to protect someone you love than a practical guide to avoiding health care harm and medical mishaps? It’s all there is Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them.

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  1. LR

    The first thing to do when a Dr. not only will not listen, but gets defensive is this. Run. This Dr. probably has the God Syndrome. In all likelihood, if you need to be referred to another Dr. that will not happen. Get another opinion. You must be your own advocate in the medical setting, including surgery. You should be checked over and over, verifying the correct side or limb. A really fine physician wants to not only listen and give you feedback, he knows that an informed and educated patient is better equipped to handle his/her medical problem. The good ones are easy to identify. The bad ones are hard to miss!

  2. ebm

    trouble is involved to docs and insurance companies to switch us to a new doc?
    I’m on my 3rd one this year and will keep switching until I find one that listens. Most of them just let me do “my thing” but are hesitant/resistant to referring to specialists or minor surgeries (like varicose vein help).
    Won’t put up with —- anymore, they are NOT GODS!

  3. Jorie

    Mitch’s story is very interesting. What is the ingredient in Certo that could possibly make a difference? I thought it was simple pectin?

  4. mitch

    I began experiencing sciatica-like pain at the beginning of last summer to the point that my quality of life was being compromised considerably. I went to my PCP and was given prescriptions for back pain, inability to sleep because of the pain, a muscle relaxant and an anti-inflammatory. The pain subsided somewhat but I didn’t want to remain on prescriptions indefinitely because of concerns regarding long term usage and side effects.
    Thanks to People’s Pharmacy, I downloaded some information related to natural pain relief. I tried turmeric and didn’t feel any difference in my pain level. I then bought some Certo at the grocery store along with some 100% concord grape juice mixing one tablespoon of Certo with eight ounces of grape juice daily. Within several days, there was a noticeable change in my level of pain which I had in my lower back, buttocks, and ankle. My foot was also numb. I’ve been on Certo daily for a couple of weeks and my active lifestyle is getting back to baseline which has not been the case for months. I’m totally off prescription meds and so grateful to be getting my confidence back along with a positive outlook.
    I’m a skeptical person by nature and was somewhat hesitant to pursue a natural solution and I didn’t want to be disappointed by any absence of efficacy regarding the natural approach. In closing, my advice to my fellow peers is to not give up on natural solutions. If your first attempt proves fruitless, go to your next option as I did. It could just very well be the difference between merely getting by each day as opposed to enjoying vitality in your life.

  5. cpmt

    WELL I will like to know what to do when you have a doctor that not only doesn’t’ listen to you but get defensive and annoyed if you try to explain or insist in something. I have a doctor who after I told him several times I needed and wanted (optional surgery) to fix my breast (I had surgery before) not only he didn’t fix it but I had surgery on the other breast… so what I supposed to do? If doctors do what they want with out listening or doing what they supposed to do, instead to have you as ‘guinea pig ‘ to get experience o teach new student doctors? This surgery was elective, I ask him to fix it because I was in constant pain and that was my only reason I went into surgery. WHAT DO WE SUPPOSE TO DO?

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