The Patient’s Playbook: A Recommended Read!

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1449175809424My parents, like many in their generation, had the greatest respect for their doctors and unquestioningly followed whatever course of treatment they recommended. In our home, the doctor always knew what was best.

Today, patients are less likely to routinely accept medical advice, especially for serious medical conditions. The advent of the Google search engine, the increasing complexity of the health care system, and ongoing public dialogue about weaknesses in health care delivery, all suggest that patients can and should remain very involved in their health care decisions.

However, becoming a well-informed and helpful health care consumer is easier said than done. Happily, there is a new book, The Patient’s Playbook by Leslie D. Michelson, which walks you through how to become a thoughtful and knowledgeable consumer of health care.


Mr. Michelson was the CEO of the Cancer Prostate Foundation and now runs a company that helps patients figure out their best treatment path when they have serious health issues. The book shares his approach to helping those with challenging, sometimes life threatening health problems. In anecdotal stories and clear writing, The Patient’s Playlist provides an excellent resource that can guide people through the following steps:

  • How to select a good primary care physician
  • The importance of maintaining your own health records, and how to do it
  • How to effectively research medical conditions
  • When and how to seek a specialist
  • What to consider before going to an emergency room
  • How to decide on a course of treatment when you have a serious illness
  • What you need to know before you leave the hospital


The book is well written, entertaining and illuminating. The advice is summarized in clear checklists at the end of each topic, so that the book is easily used as a reference tool. When you finish the book, you will have learned how to partner with your physicians to enable them do their best work. Cited by the AARP as one of the best books of 2015, this book is a very helpful resource for anyone seeking to become more engaged in their own care.



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