The trouble with Dr. Jerome Groopman‘s book, How Doctors Think, is that the docs who really need it won’t read it. But patients will, thanks to word-of-mouth buzz since it was published in 2007.
As a patient who has experienced a life-threatening misdiagnosis while having a heart attack, my own favourite part of the book is Dr. Groopman’s review of physicians who take cognitive shortcuts during patient visits.
This means that doctors can jump to conclusions about diagnosis or treatment options, and then can’t budge even when contradictory evidence subsequently emerges. “Blame the 18 Second Rule!” advises Dr. Groopman, professor of medicine at Harvard.
“That’s the average time it takes a doctor to interrupt you as you’re describing your symptoms. By that point, he/she has in mind what the answer is, and that answer is probably right about 80% of the time.” Continue reading “The ’18 Second Rule’: why your doctor missed your heart disease diagnosis*”