How Doctors Think.

Beyond Conformity

Hilary Butler – Sunday, October 24, 2010

You don’t think you need to know?  Well, according to Dr Jerome Groopman, you do.  Dr Groopman belongs to a rare species in medicine who tell it as it is – perhaps because he’s been at the butt end of a few medical bum deals in his day. He knows what it feels like to be run over by his own medical system, and has the clout to write about it.  His writing is vitally important, and utterly frustrating in the same breath.  It’s vitally important, because everyone who ever walks into a doctor’s surgery needs to read this book, but most never will. It’s frustrating, because  Groopman misses a very important issue – which is what the next blog will be about. But first, the book itself.

Most people won’t read this book, because, “After all,” they will say, “I’ve got better things to do with my time.  Why would I need to know how a doctor thinks?  Didn’t they get that way, because they are the creme de la creme, of thinkers in the first place?”

Actually no.  When you read this book, you discover that real thinking appears to be a rare commodity within the medical system, even if they “think” they think.  Groopman uses many case histories to illustrate exactly that, as well as analyse what it was in those situations, that blinded the ability of doctors to think  –  which let the patient down.

Groopman, is at the sunset end of his career.  No young doctor, making his way in the world could have written this book, because he wouldn’t have the experience needed, and…  he wouldn’t have a job at the end of it!  But Groopman can, because he’s got a raft of experience to fall back on, as well as a good reputation having been a loyal medical man.  Furthermore, he doesn’t “need” the medical system now.  In a sense, it needs him.  Groopman manages to do two things at once:

  • Tell you really important things you need to know in order to attempt to survive the medical system.
  • Keep his buddies happy at the same time, by interjecting just enough medical heroes on white horses, to help bail out all the useless wimps, who provide him with so much of the rest of his material.

This book should wake you up to why – much of the time – when diagnoses or treatments go wrong, the medical system gets away with it, because the average sheeple is none the wiser that something has happened which shouldn’t have, and most doctors wouldn’t say, even if they knew.  Which mostly they don’t, because medicine is pretty much a conveyor belt now, with “Next One” being the most heard instruction.

Groopman explains why the medical training given at medical school, places medical students into boxes, makes them clones of their tutors, who are clones of THEIR tutors, and turns out medically trained people who can and often do, suffer seriously grandiose views of themselves, their knowledge and their own power. Who are often intolerant of patients who question.  Some doctors can become a whirlwind timebomb as they diagnose patients, based on assumption and arrogance.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.