Saturday, July 18, 2015

Symptoms of Unknown Origin by Clifton Meador MD Book Review

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For years after graduating from medical school, Dr. Clifton K. Meador assumed that symptoms of the body, when obviously not imaginary, indicate a disease of the body—something to be treated with drugs, surgery, or other traditional means. But, over several decades, as he saw patients with clear symptoms but no discernable disease, he concluded that his own assumptions were too narrow and, indeed, that the underlying basis for much of clinical medicine was severely limited.

Recounting a series of fascinating case studies, Meador shows in this book how he came to reject a strict adherence to the prevailing biomolecular model of disease and its separation of mind and body. He studied other theories and approaches--George Engel's biopsychosocial model of disease, Michael Balint's study of physicians as pharmacological agents—and adjusted his practice accordingly to treat what he called “nondisease.” He had to retool, learn new and more in-depth interviewing and listening techniques, and undergo what Balint termed a “slight but significant change in personality.”

In chapters like “The Woman Who Believed She Was a Man” and “The Diarrhea of Agnes,” Meador reveals both the considerable harm that can result from wrong diagnoses of nonexistent diseases and the methods he developed to help patients with chronic symptoms not defined by a medical disease. Throughout the book, he recommends subsequent studies to test his observations, and he urges full application of the scientific method to the doctor–patient relationship, pointing out that few objective studies of these all-important interactions have ever been done.

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I was interested in getting this paperback book by Clifton Meador MD titled Symptoms of Unknown Origin A Medical Odyssey.  I find the author to be a very caring MD. I hear so many frustrating stories from friends and family about doctors not listening to them when they go to the Doctor or Hospital for help.  This book gives me hope that there are Doctors out there that do listen and do care.

I think this is a book for physicians as well as patients to take a closer look at symptoms.  When I was 16 yrs old, I called my Dad in the middle of the night telling him I was having severe pains in my chest and he took me to the ER.  The attending physician that evening told my Dad there was nothing wrong with me and that I was just trying to get out of going to school the next day.  Which was not at all the case.  I ended up getting an emergency med flight to Wright Patterson AFB hospital to get my gallbladder removed.  I remember my Dad feeling so bad afterwards, that he had trusted this Dr over his daughters word.  I was never quite as trusting of hospitals after that incident.  This book changed my mind.  I see now that there are caring doctors who do want to help and no matter how odd or unrelated the symptoms may be, they listen and do their best to come up with a proper diagnosis. I recommend this book.

 I received this product in exchange for a review. All my opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


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