A riveting exploration of the most difficult and important part of what doctors do, by Yale School of Medicine physician Dr. Lisa Sanders, author of the monthly New York Times Magazine column Diagsis, the inspiration for the hit Fox TV series House, M.D. The experience of being ill can be like waking up in a foreign country. Life, as you formerly knew it, is on hold while you travel through this other world as unkwn as it is unexpected. When I see patients in the hospital or in my office who are suddenly, surprisingly ill, what they really want to kw is, 'What is wrong with me?' They want a road map that will help them manage their new surroundings. The ability to give this unnerving and unfamiliar place a name, to kw it-on some level-restores a measure of control, independent of whether or t that diagsis comes attached to a cure. Because, even today, a diagsis is frequently all a good doctor has to offer. A healthy young man suddenly loses his memory-making him unable to remember the events of each passing hour. Two patients diagsed with Lyme disease improve after antibiotic treatment-only to have their symptoms mysteriously return. A young woman lies dying in the ICU-bleeding, jaundiced, incoherent-and ne of her doctors kw what is killing her. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Lisa Sanders takes us bedside to witness the process of solving these and other diagstic dilemmas, providing a firsthand account of the expertise and intuition that lead a doctor to make the right diagsis. Never in human history have doctors had the kwledge, the tools, and the skills that they have today to diagse illness and disease. And yet mistakes are made, diagses missed, symptoms or tests misunderstood. In this high-tech world of modern medicine, Sanders shows us that kwledge, while essential, is t sufficient to unravel the complexities of illness. She presents an unflinching look inside the detective story that marks nearly every illness-the diagsis-revealing the combination of uncertainty and intrigue that doctors face when confronting patients who are sick or dying. Through dramatic stories of patients with baffling symptoms, Sanders portrays the absolute necessity and surprising difficulties of getting the patient's story, the challenges of the physical exam, the pitfalls of doctor-to-doctor communication, the vagaries of tests, and the near calamity of diagstic errors. In Every Patient Tells a Story, Dr. Sanders chronicles the real-life drama of doctors solving these difficult medical mysteries that t only illustrate the art and science of diagsis, but often save the patients' lives.
Lisa Sanders, M.D. is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine and a clinician educator in Yale's Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency program. Dr. Sanders writes the popular Diagnosis column, which appears monthly in The New York Times Magazine. Her column was the inspiration for the acclaimed Fox television show House M.D., and she currently serves as technical advisor for the show. Although teaching about clinical reasoning and diagnostic error is her first love, much of her research and practice focus on the treatment of overweight and obese patients She is the author of The Perfect Fit Diet: How to Lose Weight, Keep it Off And Still Eat the Foods You Love. Before entering medical school, Sanders was an Emmy Award-winning producer at CBS News, where she covered medicine and health and she also worked as a producer at ABC and NBC News. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.