Since 2007, Elizabeth's Cohen's Empowered Patient columns have been a weekly presence on CNN.com. This month, she releases a book inspired by the lessons of the column.
In her new book, "The Empowered Patient: How to Get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time" (Ballantine Trade Paperback Original / On-sale August 10, 2010), Elizabeth Cohen, CNN senior medical correspondent, shows readers how to ensure they get the best medical care for themselves and their families every time they set foot in the doctor's office.
Cohen herself has experienced first-hand the difficulties with today's system as a patient, the daughter of a patient, and the mother of a patient. Now she leverages her experience and training to teach readers how to become empowered patients.
In "The Empowered Patient," Cohen's message is simple and positive: We, as patients, have the power to influence our medical care and save our own lives. Not only can we do it, we must do it. In the book, she introduces us to real people who have used their brains, common sense, and the Internet to diagnose their own illnesses, uncover medical mistakes, and insist on life-saving treatments their doctors never told them about. In chapters such as "Finding Dr. Right (and Firing Dr. Wrong) and "How to Get Good Drugs Cheap," Cohen gives actionable advice such as:
• How to be a "bad" patient: ask a lot of questions and don't worry if the doctor likes you or not.
• How to avoid a misdiagnosis: the questions that could save your life.
• How to become an "Internet medical detective:" how to go beyond Google and harness the full power of the Internet.
• How to save money on prescription drugs: it can be as easy as making one phone call to your doctor.
• How to make sense of healthcare reform: what you need to know about the best policy for your family and avoid the scams.
Through recounting her own personal stories and cases from her years of reporting, Cohen arms readers with practical solutions and rational approaches for improving their medical care.