Second Opinions—Stories of Intuition and Choice in the Changing World of MedicineBMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7249.1610/a (Published 10 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1610
- David Woods, president
- Healthcare Media International, Philadelphia, USA
Viking, £24.95, pp 243
ISBN 0 670 88801 X
Coming on the heels of a recent Institute of Medicine report stating that medical error is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States—with a higher mortality than for breast cancer, AIDS, and automobile accidents, and accounting for as many as 98 000 fatalities a year—Dr Groopman's book couldn't be more timely.
The author, a distinguished Harvard oncologist and haematologist, describes eight separate incidents of misdiagnosis, medical hubris, and egregious error—two of which affected him personally. To alleviate severe pain from a nerve pinched by a bulging lumbar disc, he enlisted the help of an overenthusiastic surgeon instead of opting for bed …