Prepare to Defend Yourself ... How to Navigate the Healthcare System and Escape with Your Life
Medical Humanities
6 x 9, 232 pp.
5 tables. 3 b&w photos. 27 cartoons. 5 tables. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 03/12/2014
  paper with flaps
Price:        $23.00

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Prepare to Defend Yourself ... How to Navigate the Healthcare System and Escape with Your Life

Matthew Minson, MD

Do you really need to pay that outstanding balance with the hospital? Do you know the differences between a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant, a physician, and a paramedic? Did you realize that not all hospitals can treat your stroke, heart attack, or trauma with equal speed and effectiveness? How should you negotiate and appeal a hospital charge? Can you do anything to minimize the medical mistakes that your provider might commit?

In Prepare to Defend Yourself . . . How to Navigate the Healthcare System and Escape with Your Life, Matthew Minson, a physician and disaster medicine and healthcare policy expert, pulls back the examination room curtain on the healthcare system, empowering patients and their families to become proactive and knowledgeable users of medical services. Written in a humorous, patient-friendly style and loaded with the author’s cartoons and other visual aids, this essential consumer’s guide to modern healthcare provides down-to-earth, accurate advice that any reader can use, whether preparing for surgery, dialing 911, or simply getting a prescription filled.


MATTHEW MINSON, MD, is the Senior Advisor for Health Affairs at the Texas Engineering Extension Service and is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Policy Management in the School of Public Health at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. As medical director for Texas Task Force One, a FEMA and State of Texas urban search and rescue team, he has been deployed to numerous disaster sites, such as the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the Columbia space shuttle recovery, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

What Readers Are Saying:

“A lighthearted look at a serious topic, it helps readers cope with the complexities of the modern American health care system. His discussions are comprehensive. . . written in plain language. While his humor keeps things light, his book is never superficial. His advice on choosing hospitals and doctors is both sensible and valuable. Prepare to Defend Yourself  is a book worth reading by anyone interacting with the health care system. . . Get it. You will not regret having it.” —Galveston County Daily News

"As a physician, the author is a credible and knowledgeable contributor to the health care field. However, it wasn't until a negative experience he had as a patient that Minson decided to document the vague and often deficient operation of the American health care system. Encompassing various areas of the profession, the text provides practical information on topics including hospital admission/intake procedures, emergency medical services, the patient interview process, prescription writing and drug information, medical mistakes, medical billing and payment options, and the overall infrastructure of the medical industry. Particularly constructive is the chapter on professionals, providing definitions of each of the distinctive roles (nurses, hospital workers, physician assistants, specialists, etc.). The book does not broach politics, so health-care policy content is not presented. Supplementing the text are tables, infographics, and even cartoons. VERDICT Helpful to almost everyone, this title provides expert information on a personal level using layperson's terms. The text succeeds by straddling both patient and medical professional sides of the system. Highly recommended for consumer health readers."—Library Journal

"Texas A&M University branches out into a new subject area -- consumer health. This book is written in a reader friendly style and the author's own cartoons illustrate the text."--The Eagle


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