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The Essential Patient Handbook
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The Essential Patient Handbook: Getting the Healthcare You Need – From the Doctors Who Know
Alan B. Ettinger, MD and Deborah M. Weisbrot, MD

Book Details:
Published: 2004
ISBN: 1-932603-02-6
Format: Softcover
Pages: 312
Publisher: Demos Medical Publishing
Regular Price: $19.95
Web Discount Price: $16.96

Editorial Review by Julia Klein, RN, MS, FNPC, MSCN:
The authors developed this handbook following personal difficulties they both encountered while being the patient. The text provides a clear and detailed aid for the patient to negotiate their healthcare. The value of this work to the website audience (professionals in MS care) is as a resource for patients to help facilitate their medical visits, and organize their medical history.

How to organize health related information before the encounter, make and keep concise past medical history, present a chief complaint, and to deal with difficult doctors are reviewed. This information is clearly delivered, with worksheets to facilitate organized and patient directed medical encounters. Pre-planning each encounter is the focus of each section, to enable the patient to get the most out of the encounter within the time constrained environment of the hospital or clinic.

The strength of this format is to encourage the patient to take care of their health information through documentation of health history, symptoms, and document past and ongoing health history. A potential weakness may be an inflated expectation of unlimited time allowed for the patient-doctor encounter. The detailed specific provided to assist the patient to prepare notes for a medical visit are clear and thorough. If used as suggested the patient will be better prepared to facilitate valuable discussion for each medical encounter. The suggested forms which are found throughout the text are clear and user friendly. Citations are up to date.

About the Authors:
Alan B. Ettinger, M.D. is Chief of the Division of Epilepsy and Electroencephalography, Department of Neurology, at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, and director of the Huntington Hospital Seizure Monitoring Program in Huntington, New York. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, President of the Long Island Epilepsy Foundation Professional Advisory Board, and has published widely in medical journals and textbooks on the topic of epilepsy.

Deborah M. Weisbrot, M.D. is Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic and is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University Medical Center at Stony Brook, NY. Dr. Weisbrot has focused her clinical and research work in the areas of anxiety and aggression, and the psychiatric aspects of medical illness in children and adolescents.

Drs. Ettinger and Weisbrot, a husband-wife team, have collaborated in researching depression, anxiety, and coping with medical illness. Both are cited in New York Magazine's list of Best Doctors. When out of the medical office, they also collaborate in raising their two sons.

About the Reviewer:
Julia Klein

Julia Klein, RN, MS, FNPC and Certified MS Nurse has worked in the clinical setting with multiple sclerosis patients for nine years. She is affiliated with the University of Utah MS clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah. She enjoys all outdoor activities, her dogs and cat.

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