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By Aniruddha Malpani, Anjali Malpani,

UBS Publisher’s Distributors Ltd. New Delhi 110 002.

There is a need to improve the relationship between the doctor and the patient and also to balance the power equation equitably between the doctor and the patient which presently is tilted highly in favour of the doctor. It is in this regard that this book has been published to correct the imbalance and also to educate patients in dealing with doctors. Drs. Aniruddha and Anjali Malpani are trying to create awareness of the rights of the patients and improve the relationship between the patient and the doctor. They have done yeomen service in this regard. Other such ventures by these authors is to have infertility support groups and a medical library wherein people can browse free of cost and thereby educate themselves of their health problems.

The book “How To Get The Best Medical Care” is divided into five sections.

Section I deals with how to take care of your health and offers good tips as well as common sense methods to improve one’s health. For example, the authors advocate munching fruits instead of chips, exercising gradually rather than abruptly, etc.

Section II and III deal with the patient and the doctor. It helps the patients to deal with doctors and not to be cowed down with what is told to them by doctors. The sections offer help on how to have a good partnership between the doctor and the patient rather than a one sided relationship.

Section IV deals with medicines and what precaution should a patient take in taking the medicines.

Section V deals with the introducing a patient getting admitted to a hospital and educates them to hospital procedures and practices.

The book also contains sprinkling of good quotations and cartoons to provide humour and relief so that the book does not become tedious. The organization of sections and chapters are done well and the authors expand on the topics in detail.

The probable drawback would be the length of the book which is over 300 pages but then the patient can select chapters relevant to them only if they are unable to read the book fully.

In nutshell, the book is a good beginning to improve the patient-doctor relationship by educating the patient but its success is dependent on many other factors other than the patient. For example, doctors would also have to take into account the needs of patients and change their mindset in providing them full information rather than treating them only. Also many of the suggestions by the authors are of a common sense nature which the patient would anyway respond to. However, patients are unable to do so because of the unequal relationship between the two parties. This book may be ahead of its times but it may be a good reference point for patients to build on. The intention of the authors is honourable and commendable as they firmly believe in educating patients and ensuring a healthy patient doctor relationship on an equal footing.

President, CS Division, DCW.

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