Author: Martine Ehrenclou
Publisher: Lemon Green Press, LLC
ISBN: 978-0-9815240-3-0

Martine Ehrenclou mentions in the introduction to her, The Take-Charge Patient: How You Can Get the Best Medical Care that the book came about out of “a need to empower patients to become proactive, assertive and well-informed participants in their health-care.” And therein lies the fundamental ingredients of this excellent tome that is the outcome of Ehrenclou's journey to find a cure for her own agonizing pelvic pain that she had been experiencing for some time.

Over a period of sixteen months, Ehrenclou transformed herself from a passive patient to a take-charge one as she consulted with twelve specialists and three alternative medicine practitioners. Unbelievable as it may seem, she was given eleven diagnoses, twenty-two medications and fifteen procedures and surgeries to treat and cure her pain. However, as she remarks, the end of the story was a happy one because the strategies that she reveals in her book did lead her to the right doctor who administered the right tests, diagnosis and treatment plan. Today, she is pain free.

To help us what it really means to be proactive about our health and the steps we must pursue, Ehrenclou has put together twenty-five informative chapters covering a multitude of topics which include choosing the best doctor for yourself, relationships with your doctor and his or her staff, preparing yourself for the doctor's visit, different kinds of specialists, preventing medication errors and management of your medication, managing medical errors, (broken down into misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis and no diagnosis), researching your medical condition, securing discounted medical care and medications, health insurance, serious illnesses and chronic medical conditions, tests, procedures, and surgeries, hospital care, urgent care centers, retail medical clinics and the emergency room, health care prevention, how religious institutions can help you, patient advocacy, concierge doctors and patient-centered care, telemedicine and telehealth, and creating your own legal health care documents. In addition, the end of the book includes definitions of medical terms, resources and recommended books as well as references. There is also a very useful patient safety checklist and sample questions for yourself and your doctor.

All of Ehrenclou's knowledge has been garnered not only from her own personal experiences concerning her ailment but also from the interviews she conducted with more than two hundred physicians, nurses, pharmacists, health psychologists, medical office managers, medical billers, patients and many more connected in one way or another.

While reading the chapters, I noticed that what is frequently hammered home is that we must become persistent, inquisitive, organized, active, flexible, confident, and friendly when it comes to our health-care. For example, if you find a doctor whom you can collaborate with in a partnership relationship concerning your health, don't be shy in asking questions pertaining to your diagnosis, treatment and prescribed medications. Good doctors welcome feedback from their patients and heed the advice of Sir William Osler, Father of Modern Medicine, “Listen to the patient. He is telling you the diagnosis.” However, as pointed out, your doctor is not a magician. To become a valuable partner and to maximize your time with him or her, you must be truthful in providing as much information about your health as possible. This will entail creating your own health file or kit containing such information as your health history, surgeries, procedures, medical conditions and diagnosis over your lifetime, medications, list of doctors whom you see, health insurance information and anything else related to your health.

One of the many chapters I found particularly useful concerned the prevention of medication errors and the management of medications. Did you know that according to the Institute of Medicine, medication errors injure a whopping 1.5 million people a year? This is the bad news and we do appreciate that to err is human, however, the good news is that we can prevent it and as the author indicates, the most comprehensive and foolproof way to prevent these mistakes is to take charge of the medications you currently take. Learn about their brand and generic names, dosages, which medical condition you are taking each for and what each medicine looks like. There are excellent resources on the Internet and elsewhere that you can easily consult to aid you.

Ehrenclou has done a masterful job in thoroughly packing her book with extremely persuasive and useful advice about what it really means to take a proactive stance when it comes to your health. The text is precise, well-researched, reader friendly and enriched with compelling examples and anecdotes. Without doubt, this book will bring attention to the need to change our mindsets from being reactive to becoming proactive concerning our health care as it illustrates that your role as a healthcare consumer has never been more important than it is today. And understanding how to navigate the system will cut down on frustration, wasted time, energy, and delays in securing the best care.

Follow Here: to read Norm's Interview with Martine Ehrenclou

Author's Bio: 

Practicing law for over 35 years enabled me to transfer and apply to book reviewing my many skills that I had perfected during my career in the legal profession and as a result I have become a prolific free lance book reviewer & author interviewer.

I am the Editor, Publisher and Reviewer for my own site, (
that I created in 2002.

The site is composed of an international community of book reviewers that come from all walks of life that review all genres of fiction and non-fiction.

Over the years I have reviewed approximately 2000 books and I have interviewed over 600 authors.

In addition to the complimentary reviews offers, I personally offer my own Priority Book Review Service.

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