Simple Answers to Difficult Healthcare Questions - Choice
by Sheila R. Enders, MSW 
Autumn Indigo Books 

"The purpose of Choice is to give you information about making medical and health care choices and the type of medical care and treatment you might want at the end of your life."

Choice stands for "Choosing healthcare options through information, communication and education." This simple-to-read book purports what it intends to do—to give information in a very basic format regarding healthcare. The main chapters include a definition of health and your primary care physician; when you're ill; systems of the body; vital signs; common illnesses; a patient bill of rights and responsibilities; taking charge of your healthcare; basic pictures that help to describe or explain; and resources. Within these chapters, we read about topics such as tests and procedures, diagnosis, specialists, treatment options, informed consent, advance health care directives, and hospice. This is written for people who are not medically savvy and who want a quick guide to healthcare; it is 104 pages long and a very quick read.

The author, a social worker and expert in healthcare, indicates that, "Creating a guide to help bridge the gap in communication and understanding between the physician's desire to provide care and the patient's need to receive care, became the premise for Choice." There is a lot of valuable information for those persons needing an introductory understanding of medical and physician services, illnesses, how the body operates, and the choices to be made. However, this is a very basic book (i.e. noting that urine is pee and stool is poop), which may be too basic for some people. The information on how to work with your physician as well as the section on advance care health directives is especially pertinent. What would make the book more beneficial would be chapters on HIPAA guidelines and palliative care. However, overall, this guide will be important to many persons who struggle to navigate the often difficult ins and outs of the healthcare system.

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