Harvard Women's Health Watch

Getting your doctor to listen

How to avoid having unnecessary tests—and getting the wrong diagnosis.

Increasing time pressures, growing patient loads, and fears of malpractice lawsuits have forced many doctors to resort to a practice of "cookbook medicine," according to Drs. Leana Wen and Joshua Kosowsky, emergency physicians at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Rather than listening to patients' personal health stories and concerns, doctors simply put them through a barrage of tests based on their main symptom.

In their new book, When Doctors Don't Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests, Drs. Wen and Kosowsky teach patients how to be better advocates for their own health. Harvard Women's Health Watch asked the authors what steps women should take to ensure they get an accurate diagnosis.

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