Beth Gainer’s book, Calling the Shots in Your Medical Care, is a must-read for every patient and caregiver. Written with a straightforward and compelling voice, Gainer offers sound advice to get the best medical care. She should know. She is a breast cancer survivor who lived through and overcame many challenges in her medical journey.
Calling the Shots in Your Medical Care focuses on the all-important doctor-patient relationship, showcasing the quality of that relationship and it’s direct connection to good medical care. Through interesting stories, Gainer illustrates how to find a truly great doctor. We recognize physicians who treat patients with respect and who value patient participation in care. Armed with her own strategies and checklists, Garner finds some amazing doctors to treat her.
Through the author’s journey, we also recognize arrogant doctors who don’t listen to patients, those who aren’t interested in a collaborative relationship with patients. Gainer admits that a patient-centered, caring physician is not easy to find but emphasizes the importance of locating one.
The author’s many triumphs throughout her medical journey are not without horror stories and common frustrations with our healthcare system. The way Gainer handles the pitfalls had me cheering for her. I’ve not read a book thus far that empowers a patient as much as this one. She encourages patients to listen to their gut instincts, to speak up, to become informed, and to engage in care.
Having fully researched a treatment to prevent a reoccurrence of breast cancer, Gainer shows us by example how to achieve “doctor buy-in” on the medical treatment she believes is best for her. At the helm of her care, Gainer works in partnership with her chosen medical professionals. “A wonderful physician will also be open to the patient’s input,” she writes. This is key to patient-centered care and Gainer knows it.
The author admits to being somewhat intimidated by certain doctors, just like the rest of us. Her story about her oncologist who encourages her to speak up, to stand for herself as a patient, is the best example of patient empowerment I’ve read. Gainer is realistic about the demands and frustrations of dealing with time-pressed medical staff but gives herself permission to ask for what she wants anyway. Patients need to hear this more than ever now.
Beth Gainer’s personal journey with breast cancer also opens the door to her personal suffering with treatments, revealing just how difficult it can be to undergo chemotherapy and surgery with all the trappings of a complex and often frustrating medical system. Her story is one of triumph.
Calling the Shots in Your Medical Care is both an emotional and captivating read. It is packed with effective strategies for patients to get the best care while maintaining their sanity.