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The Empowered Patient

November 2010

The Empowered Patient

Navigating the labyrinth of the medical establishment can be extraordinarily difficult, especially in the current climate of health care uncertainty. Fortunately, CNN Senior Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has written The Empowered Patient (Ballantine Books, 2010), a book that is a virtual GPS to help guide you through the byzantine maze.

Her goal is simple: to help you get the best care humanly possible should you unfortunately fall ill. In order to jar you into taking action and, as the book’s title says, become an Empowered Patient, she first lays out some startling facts.

Fact 1: Medical errors kill more people each year than AIDS, breast cancer, or car accidents

Fact 2: 99,000 Americans die each year from infections they acquire in the hospital

Fact 3: As many as 98,000 Americans die from medical mistakes in the hospital.

With chapter headers like “How to Be a “Bad Patient,” “How to Avoid a Misdiagnosis,” “Don’t Fall for Medical Marketing,” and “Don’t Let a Hospital Kill You,” Cohen stakes out her claim early on that from the moment you enter the medical world, your head needs to be on a swivel. The surest way to do that is to stay constantly informed about what is happening around you. Simply accepting what a doctor is telling you is unacceptable.

The beauty of Cohen’s book is that she writes from experience in dealing with hospitals and from the perspective of being an expert. Yes, the facts, when you first hear them, are scary, but once you accept that these days, “medicine is more of an art than a science,” you are able to sit back and think with a clear head. And thinking with a clear head is paramount to getting what you want.

“Despite what Michael Moore says, the United States has some of the best care in the world,” Cohen writes in her introduction, “And my family and I have been grateful recipients of it on many occasions. But getting that excellent care takes know-how, and I want to share with you what I’ve learned through my reporting and my personal experiences with doctors.”

One such doctor, Sanjay Gupta, who recently appeared on the cover of Life Extension Magazine®, says that The Empowered Patient is “a book no household should be without”. And he’s right. From the starting point of getting the right diagnosis for an ailment, to how to buy the cheapest drugs, to how to beat your insurance company, Patient is an invaluable resource.

To order a copy of The Empowered Patient call 1-800-544-4440 or visit

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