Thursday, September 02, 2010

Non-Fiction: The Empowered Patient

You’ve seen her on CNN where she is senior medical correspondent. While being a talking head on CNN doesn’t make you a medical expert, it does establish you as someone who knows how to ask questions and get answers. In The Empowered Patient (Ballantine) Cohen doesn’t do a lot of that. Rather she sets out to help readers ask the questions and find the best care as simply and directly as possible. The Empowered Patient is as slender and as succinct as the author herself:
I’m writing this book so that you, too, won’t have to suffer. Never in the history of modern American health care has there been such an urgent and dramatic need to advocate for yourself and the people you love at the doctor’s office and the hospital. But here’s the good news: you can do it.
Is there a political rallying cry in Cohen’s words? Perhaps. But that needn’t be the central point. On a global level, sure: all Americans should have access to good and affordable health care. Cohen, however, concerns herself with the individual level: what can you and I do for ourselves right now? The Empowered Patient is a great starting point.

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