Book Reviews

PajamaDaze.com
The Take-Charge Patient: How You Can Get the Best Medical Care by Martine Ehrenchlou, M.A.
Many of us are now embarking on our first chronic illness journey.  We are navigating very choppy waters, and most of us have difficulty weathering the storm, and we need help.  Even veterans, such as I, who have fought for their right to the best medical care possible, or to just find a doctor who believes them, find it a lonely and frustrating peregrination that can make medical conditions worse because of the stress involved. The Take-Charge Patient to the rescue!
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suite101.com
The Take-Charge Patient by Martine Ehrenclou, An In-Depth Look and Review
Everyone who sees or needs a doctor quite regularly should own a copy of this book. This compact guidebook for medical care could be a life-changer and a life-saver.

The Take-Charge Patient is a book that grew out of the Martine Ehrenclou’s personal need for medical advice and treatment that was not forthcoming in her early doctor visits. After 16 months of multiple doctor visits, a true and valid diagnosis was found and treatment was secured that worked. This search for help and pain-relief took many months, many doctors and much research, investigation and soul-searching to get to that endpoint. In The Take-Charge Patient the author shares how to deal with medical issues, doctors and other personnel to reach the best outcome possible. All who read and heed her advice will benefit from the insights, guidelines and wisdom of this book published by Lemon Grove Press, LLC, Santa Monica, Ca. ISBN 978-0-9815240-3-0.
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Publishers Weekly
The Take-Charge Patient: How YOU Can Get the Best Medical Care
Martine Ehrenclou. Lemon Grove (Ingram, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-9815240-3-0
Reviewed June 18, 2012

Asserting that "It's time for us to step up to the plate and take charge of ourselves as patients," Ehrenclou (Critical Conditions) immediately sets a proactive tone for this empowering and refreshing roadmap to navigating the torturous healthcare system, outlining everything from how to manage health information to finding lower-cost/free healthcare. To research patient advocacy needs, Ehrenclou interviewed "over 175 physicians and patients," aggregating responses and well-placed quotes. As she worked, however, Ehrenclou developed serious chronic pain and beta-tested her own advice, eventually securing treatment that would result in her being pain-free today. She covers big-picture topics, like methods for researching your own condition and possible diagnoses, as well as more particular considerations, such as the best times to call a pharmacist. Each chapter concludes with a first-person patient checklist that is both encouraging and practical. While full of cogent information, this exhaustive guide functions best as reference material for patients with the wherewithal and time to take on their own case.



Foreword Reviews

Similar to her first book, Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive, Martine Ehrenclou has written The Take-Charge Patient with the kind of authority and know-how that only someone who has experienced these challenges first-hand can achieve. The information is thorough, the tone comforting, and Ehrenclou’s straightforward suggestions make even the most daunting tasks—such as telling a long-time doctor you want a second opinion—seem doable.

Divided into short, straightforward chapters, The Take-Charge Patient covers everything from understanding the doctor-patient relationship and getting the most out of each doctor visit to preventing medical errors and differentiating between types of procedures and care providers. Starting each section and woven in throughout are valuable first-person stories and advice shared by the more than two hundred patients and health professionals (including surgeons, family practitioners, registered nurses, medical assistants, and clinical professors) Ehrenclou interviewed.

For anyone facing a complex diagnosis or condition in today’s increasingly complicated health world, The Take-Charge Patient is a valuable tool and guide with sound advice that won’t soon be outdated.



Good Reads
Robert H.'s review, Aug 27, 2012
This book is exactly what I would expect such a work to be. It is well written, informative, full of surprises and specific recommendations on how to deal with them.

I would give it a ten if the scale went that high. However, since the scale only goes to five, I will have to settle for that.

I was half way through this book when I had a relatively minor medical emergency. I had not even finished the books’ recommendations and I started using them. They worked. I am not recommending that you ignore half the book, but my personal experience is that if you take the book’s recommendations and use them, you will get better care. That is the intent of this book. In my personal case, I can verify that it succeeded.

Each chapter ends with a list of specific action items in textbook fashion. This is a brilliant presentation.

Read this book. Take its advice. It may save your life.
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Digital Doorway
Reflections by NurseKeith
Martine Ehrenclou is a well-known and talented writer whose books "Critical Conditions" and "The Take-Charge Patient" have received well-deserved attention and praise.

Aside from telling her own story of illness, powerlessness, frustration, empowerment and eventual recovery, Ms. Ehrenclou uses the majority of the pages of "The Take-Charge Patient" to offer her readers a relatively comprehensive and user-friendly guide to proactive self-advocacy when faced with illness, medical treatment, and medical providers who sometimes are less than thorough and less attentive to our unique situation than we would like.

Although there are many lessons that I, myself, have taken away from "The Take-Charge Patient", one of the greatest lessons of all is to have in my possession a complete record of my medical history. Armed with information, the take-charge patient can walk into any doctor's office, coherently and intelligently outlining the highlights and issues that are most salient to the goal of that visit.
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"The Medical Minute" with Michael Weiss
Reviews The Take Charge Patient



Need a New Doctor? 19 Must-Ask Questions

Adapted from The Take-Charge Patient by Martine Ehrenclou, here are vital questions to ask before picking a new MD.

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KevinMD publishes two excerpts from
The Take Charge Patient

Communicate and strengthen your relationship with your doctor
Your relationship with your doctor is an important one that can last for many years. It is a partnership. You and your doctor collaborate to maintain your good health and to treat any medical conditions, illnesses or injuries that occur. A good doctor-patient relationship includes mutual trust, respect and good communication.
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Tips to maximize the relationship with your doctor

Here are a few suggestions that will help you make the most of your relationship with your doctor. They are for your benefit as a patient, because the more you know, the more empowered you will feel.
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Living Life as I See Fit

Most patients do not participate in their healthcare as efficiently and as effectively as they could. I am referring to the relationship that patients have with their doctors rather than management of their health conditions. You will find that Martine’s book, The Take-Charge Patient, speaks to everyone regardless of whether you are fairly healthy or you live with a chronic condition. It also allows the reader to understand how to get past the frustration of limited answers by taking the time to acknowledge that we are partners in our healthcare with our medical providers.
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Leahs Good Reads

The Take Charge Patient is filled with valuable advice about managing your own healthcare or the healthcare of a loved one.

Ehrenclou recommends and gives detailed instructions for creating a medical history, a medical journal, and a medical ID card.  Each chapter gives am checklist that the informed patient can follow when approaching his or her physician.  She covers primary care doctors, surgeons, specialists, hospitals, and urgent care facilities as well as handling medications and misdiagnoses.

I thought the information here was invaluable.  I look forward to having this as a resource for managing my healthcare.  I give this one five stars for content.
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Justin's Hope Healthcare Blog
This new publication is a wonderful review of taking responsibility in becoming a take charge patient of your own health care and that of your loved ones. The concept of empowerment and responsibility is woven throughout the pages of Martine Ehrenclou’s new book, The Take-Charge Patient How YOU Can Get The Best Medical Care.

The many check lists for patients placed strategically throughout the chapters makes it an easy to read and understand instruction manual, almost workbook, that could save your life and ease your anxiety while you’re facing illness. Her collaboration with both physicians and patients along with Martine’s own tragic and preventable healthcare experience gives the reader a real global picture of opinions, ideas and valid concerns that will help the reader become a better consumer.

My first thought, being a mom and advocate for safer care, was that this book should be required reading for high school students. Start at the beginning. This basic healthcare knowledge along with conjoined courses on preventative care, finances, loans, budgets, exercise, safety, nutrition, support are what is needed in our schools to teach our children the basics before they go out on their own into an often chaotic world. Preparation is the key. Learning as you go can be dangerous. Useless mandatory courses should not trump the basics in education.

This is also an excellent read for those suffering chronic conditions who feel lost in the poorly designed continuation of care model that is before us presently…although new models are emerging as we speak, we aren’t where we need to be yet with patient centered smooth transitions of care so patients must get involved and remain partners in their own care from now on.

Do something for yourself and for your family and have them read this wonderful collaboration of best practices for patients based on common sense views and values with real time resources to guide you.

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RebeccaRead.com

Reviewed by Charline Ratcliff for RebeccasReads (6/12)

“The Take-Charge Patient: How YOU Can Get The Best Medical Care” is an extremely well-written, well thought out and well put together book. This isn’t author Martine Ehrenclou’s first go round with providing helpful and informative information in an easy to understand format; her first book “Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide To Get Your Loved One Out Alive” received high accolades as well as fifteen separate awards. Ehrenclou seems to have a true calling as a patient advocate not only for herself but also for those in the world around her.

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BookPleasures

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. 



runningahospital.blogspot.com
This is a very good book, loaded with helpful suggestions and advice for patients (and families) of all types. This is no excoriation of the medical profession.  Its premise is that a strong partnership works best. 

I found the style to be approachable and readable.  The substantive content is excellent, as well.  Whether you are currently a patient or will be one, this is an excellent addition to your bedside table.

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Her Circle Magazine

Ehrenclou reminds readers that when visiting any other professional, we’d have records with us, a description of our situation and be ready participants to the remedy of the situation. She is right. If we seek our accountant for an issue, we bring W-2 forms, 1099s, prior tax returns, receipts and bank statements along with other paperwork. If we see an attorney about an issue, we make sure we also have whatever paperwork might support the case or provide evidence. We’re used to being in control of other situations, and we need to be as active in our healthcare as we are in other areas of life.

In light of all the changes taking place through legislation of health insurance and health care, we must all be aware of and knowledgeable about what is and isn’t covered and what everything costs. Women typically take care of themselves last, and put their family’s needs before their own. We can be good role models to friends, children and our family members by being strong self-advocates in our own health care.

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Confident Voices

Reviewed by Beth Boynton, RN, MS

Author, Patient Advocate, Speaker and Patient, Martine Ehrenclou, M.A. has written a well-researched, understandable, comprehensive and powerful book that will help patients navigate our complex healthcare system while positively contributing to the evolution of the system itself! “The Take-Charge Patient: How YOU Can Get the Best Medical Care” is an outstanding resource for a variety of reasons.

The “Take-Charge Patient” is a great book for a lot of reasons. It is an outstanding book because of it’s ability progress our system from an old ‘us – them’ paternalistic model to a progressive ‘we’ collaborative one. I believe this is critical for safer, kinder, more cost-effective care.

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www.readerviews.com

Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views
May 12, 2012

If one would be completely honest with oneself, I think most of us would admit to quite a few issues with the way we participate in our own healthcare. And no, I am not simply talking about taking better care of ourselves and doing “the right things,” but also about being proactive in any actions related to the healthcare we receive, or should receive. All too often we don’t give that enough thought, if any, and when disaster strikes, we are very ill equipped to deal with it, and its consequences. That’s why I believe that every American family should read and keep a copy of the excellent The Take-Charge Patient, the well researched and fantastically organized book by Martine Ehrenclou.
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This is one of those books in which the author truly makes you re-evaluate your involvement in the process, and while it is filled with information, it does not become boring or overwhelming at all. All of the information is very practical and explained in an approachable, easy-to-follow and easy-to-understand way. The personal stories from healthcare professionals, patients, and their “advocates” transform a simple “how-to” guide into something much more interesting and give the reader a look behind the scenes and into the inner workings of the health system.

The information deals with all of the important aspects of being truly involved in the process, starting with a lot of helpful information on how to choose the right doctors and tips on building better relationships with the doctor and his/her staff and continuing with how to be really prepared for your office visit and getting the most out of it. While some of those tips might seem a bit obvious, they are all too often overlooked, and it is the patient who will have to suffer the consequences. The following chapters offer helpful advice on medications, preventing medication and medical errors, proper way to research the health conditions, understanding insurance and dealing with it, negotiating the prices for procedures, alternative venues for health care, and much more.

As the author herself stresses in the special note in the Introduction to the book, a lot of the information is repeated in separate chapters for the benefit of those readers who might not read the entire book. While I can understand her reasoning, I would have liked it better if she simply referred those readers to the appropriate passages in other chapters, and kept the book somewhat more concise.

I found The Take-Charge Patient by Martine Ehrenclou to be a definite keeper, and I believe it offers credible and properly researched information, necessary for a solid foundation on which to make better health care related decisions fore ourselves and those we care about.

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www.bestsellersworld.com

Reviewed by Teri Davi
May 14, 2012

Who is the one person who is most responsible for the quality of your health care? It’s not your doctor. It’s you.

When you’re sick, really sick, you call the doctor. Then the average person trusts that the doctor has the correct diagnosis and then prescribes proper treatment to get you back to normal. This sounds fairly simple but in reality can be a complete nightmare, especially if the diagnosis is wrong and the prescription does not heal the real problem. What do you do then?
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While writing this book, the author, Martine Ehrenclou, had developed a pain which became worse. She went to a variety of doctors which prescribed many different treatments, including surgeries. Eventually, after many painful challenges that were literally debilitating, she was able to have a correct diagnosis and was able to have surgery to solve the initial problem. These experiences ended up being the perfect guideline for her utilizing her own recommendations to this excellent resource.

The suggestions and information in The Take-Charge Patient are practical and realistic. The writing style is easy to understand and keeps the reading interested as each chapter continues. From the medical aspect, if you actually follow through with the author’s suggestion, any doctor should be thrilled about any patient being so involved with their care.

The medical records sections are well-written and informative. Most people keep records for their pets. Why would it seem strange not to also keep your own medical records? Ms. Ehrenclou explains exactly what needs to be kept and the reasons for this. Her information on obtaining the best medical care is well-researched but should not be overwhelming for anyone, especially when the person who benefits the most from this is yourself.

As I was reading The Take-Charge Patient, I felt that Martine Ehrenclou was singing to the choir but much of her book had new information that is helpful for everyone. Having a mother who did exactly what her doctor prescribed until it literally killed her and having a non-curable, but treatable disease, I am well aware of the medical profession, the expectations, the trust or lack of, the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, are just some of the influences that can lead any doctor in a different direction.

The author, Martine Ehrenclou has earned her Master’s Degree in psychology from Pepperdine University. She has worked as a journalist, ghostwritier, public relations professional, and facilitated a program for at-risk teenagers. Through her own experiences, now she works as an advocate for patients with her websites, The Take-Charge Patient and Critical Conditions.

The Take-Charge Patient is a resource that should be available in every home, business, and medical facility.

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Reading The Take-Charge Patient is like being an observer at dozens of doctor's visits or conversations. The margins and footers are filled with quotes and tips from health professionals and patients. The table of contents is a great way to get started---find a chapter that applies to you and be ready with a highlighter, because there will definitely be some information you'll want to remember. You can download the first chapter to see just what I mean!

Some of the suggestions are simple, such as keeping a copy of your medical records. Maybe everyone else in the world does that, but I don't. It just never dawned on me that I might need them. Then I remembered last year, when we switched to a new pediatrician's office and there was an issue in transferring my children's records. I didn't know what specific medications they had taken six months ago.....surely that's on their file? But there wasn't a file!! See how helpful it would have been to carry my own copy of the records?

Other suggestions are more aggressive. For example, when I was scheduled to see a specialist for my previously mentioned health condition, I was already scared out of my wits. I wasn't prepared with a list of questions to take with me. The Take-Charge Patient provides you with the list, so you can just walk in and feel more confident. Author Martine Ehrenclou (pictured at right) is on your side, helping you navigate the waters of insurance paperwork and endless referrals.

In closing, I really want to emphasize how meaningful and timely this book was for me. It will be a valued book on my shelf for a long time to come.

About the Author: Martine has a master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University. Prior to becoming a health writer and patient advocate, Martine was a journalist, ghostwriter and public relations professional. She created and ran a writing program for at-risk teenagers at Phoenix House. Her personal experience with loved ones with extended hospitalizations changed her career path in 2001.

Buy It: The Take-Charge Patient is available on Amazon and on other bookselling sites. You can also purchase it at bookstores around the country.

Win It: Enter to win a copy of The Take-Charge patient! Giveaway will be posted soon.

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www.traumadolls.com

The Martine Ehrenclou/Take-Charge Patient Interview
May 15, 2012

Q: What’s the main message of The Take-Charge Patient, and why is it so crucial that we hear it these days?

The main message of The Take-Charge Patient is that as patients we must advocate for ourselves.

We can’t change our health care system, but we can change how we approach it. If we approach our physicians and other medical professionals as if we are approaching a business meeting, we come prepared to medical appointments. We enter the office empowered and more confident.
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If you bring your car to the mechanic, you are equipped with information on what is wrong with your car, right? Approach meetings with physicians in the same way. Know something about your symptoms, about your medical condition, gather copies of your medical records (always keep a copy of them for yourself) and prepare for a meeting with your doctor. You make the most of the interaction that way, and you present yourself as a credible patient.

Doctors no longer have the time to spend with patients that they would like to. If they take health insurance, we get about 7-15 minutes with them. Doctors aren’t going to change. We do. Because we need to make the most of our medical care and take some responsibility for ourselves as patients. Passivity just doesn’t work anymore. Traditional patients enter into relationships with medical professionals expecting them to handle everything, to know everything, to keep track of everything and prevent every kind of medical error. That may have worked many years ago, but not anymore.

Take-charge patients take charge of what they can. We are empowered, knowledgeable, organized and we ask questions when we don’t understand something (even if it’s scary).

1.5 million people are harmed by medication errors each year. Every medical professional involved in the process from prescription to fulfillment of the medicine, is multi-tasking, taking care of too many patients and has too little time and can easily make mistakes.

Unless we are our own advocates, we will be victim to a system that at times can seem determined to beat us.

Q: What prompted you to write this book?

I wrote The Take Charge Patient because after writing my last book, Critical Conditions, which is about how to be an effective advocate for a hospitalized loved one, I knew I had to write a book about how to advocate for oneself to get the best medical care.

Six months into my interviews of over 200 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, health psychologists, other medical processionals and patients, I developed severe pelvic pain that last 16 months. I saw 11 physicians of differing specialties, and 3 alternative medical professionals in effort to find an accurate diagnosis and cure for my pain.

10 misdiagnoses later, plus 11 tests and procedures, 22 medications, I still had no accurate diagnosis and no cure for the pain.

Ironically a few months into my chronic pain condition, I realized I was living each chapter of my new book, using so many of the strategies that I had learned from the interviews and from hundreds of hours of research. I went from advocate for others to advocate for myself. This was a brutal journey but one that put my own strategies to the test. It is one thing to write a book from research and it is another to live it.

My extensive research led me to a New York Times article on hernias in women. As I read that article, my heart sped up and I knew in my gut that I had the same diagnosis as the woman described in the article. Call it a strong gut feeling or simply that the woman’s symptom profile was exactly like mine. Luckily, the surgeon mentioned in the article who cured the woman was at a teaching hospital in Los Angeles. I was on the phone within two minutes making an appointment.

Dr. Shirin Towfigh did tests and a thorough exam. She was so lovely and treated me so respectfully. She heard my story, listened carefully. She ran tests. She then did surgery and cured me. She found an inguinal hernia with a nerve passing through the hole, a muscle tear at my C-section site. I have been pain free since August of 2011. I am so grateful to Dr. Towfigh. I’m also grateful that I didn’t give up and that I was persistent as my own medical detective.

Q: One of the main problems those of us in the chronic pain community are facing these days is the fear of being labeled as “drug-seeking.” That fear can keep us from speaking up to doctors when we really need to. What are some of your best tips for CP patients to deal with that fear and learn how to speak up and advocate for ourselves with our medical providers?

I understand the fear of being labeled “drug seeking.” I also completely understand being afraid to speak up to doctors. We are raised to view them as gods, to not interfere, to be submissive and compliant.

Chronic pain patients can too easily be labeled as “drug seekers” or “difficult patients.” The latter, I believe, is because doctors get frustrated and lose self confidence when they cannot “cure” the patient so some blame the patient instead.

Here are a few tips: If you organize and educate yourself as a patient this serves two purposes:

1.You empower yourself and increase your self-confidence.
2. You increase your credibility as a patient and many doctors will take you more seriously.

Q: So what does organizing and educating yourself mean?

It means being prepared for a meeting with a doctor. Preparation involves the following:

  • Create a chronology of events starting with the first time you experienced symptoms or pain. Describe when it first came on, what makes it worse or better, when it occurs most often (such as late afternoon or evening) and list what you have tried that either helps the pain or has no effect.
  • List the physicians you have seen, their contact information and on what dates.
  • List the tests and their results.
  • Get copies of all tests, procedures and surgeries and their results. Include them in your health file. Keep a copy for yourself.
  • Create a list of your current medications and their dosages, over-the counter medications, herbs and supplements.
  • If you have a diagnosis, list it and which doctor gave it to you and on what date. Research that diagnosis only on credible websites and from credible resources. Nothing discredits a patient more than bringing in information from a fringe website and a doctor has to spend valuable time discrediting the information you’ve found. Credible websites are academic, government and professional medical society/academy organizations. They end in .gov, .org and .edu.
  • When you take charge of your medical information, become knowledgeable about your condition and what you’ve been through, you not only present yourself as a credible patient but you increase your self confidence.
  • Come prepared for an office visit with a list of questions, and top three medical issues you want to discuss with your doctor. Write it down ahead of time or keep this information in your smart phone or on another kind of electronic device.
There were times during my chronic pain condition when I was intimidated by doctors. I tried to counteract that with preparing ahead of time for the appointment and I dressed professionally as if I was about to enter a business meeting. As a chronic pain patient, I wanted the physician to take me seriously. I wanted his/her respect. I wanted to be seen as a credible reporter on my body and I wanted to be viewed as a patient who was invested in my health care—someone who took charge of what I could.

Preparation is key to patient confidence. It makes it easier to ask questions.

Don’t let the doctor’s lack of time scare you off. This is your time, you are paying for it (health insurance or not) and you deserve to be treated respectfully and have your questions answered.

Many physicians I interviewed said that it is important for patients to stay on track. Try not to bring into the conversation what your sister told you to do or what your friend’s doctor did for her.

This is about increasing your credibility as a patient.

Try to talk in a cognitive manner (less emotional) and you’ll find that doctors might respond and listen more carefully. Doctors are cognitive thinkers. This isn’t to say you can’t cry, act frustrated, depressed or whatever it is you are feeling—it just means you try to think about using strategies that help you get the most out of your office visit.

Q: Do you think the failure to advocate for ourselves as patients is quite literally killing us? In what ways?

Failure to advocate. Passive patients receive less than optimum care. If you do not interact with your medical provider, ask questions, works as a team player, educate yourself about your medical condition and your medications, you risk leaving a doctor’s office or hospital not knowing exactly what your diagnosis and treatment plan are. You put yourself at risk for being treated incorrectly, subjected to medical errors, poor communication and substandard care.

Advocating for yourself takes guts. I won’t kid you. It’s not always easy. Enlist the support of a loved one to go with you to a medical appointment. Gather whatever it is you need to oversee and monitor your own care. This is your life we are talking about. 100,000 people die every year because of medical errors.

1.5 million people are harmed by medication errors every year. This is the easiest medical error to prevent. Participating in your medical care is simply essential now.

Q: Sometimes it feels like dealing with chronic conditions is a full-time job. What are some ways we can manage our own care without going nuts in the process?

I really understand how dealing with chronic conditions can feel like a full time job. At times, when I had my chronic pain condition, it felt like that to me.

Do what you can to take charge of what you can for yourself as a patient. This reduces a sense of overwhelm and helplessness. It allows you to put the whole process aside at times, which is essential for not going nuts.

Once you’ve done that, try to divert your attention elsewhere. That’s not easy to do, I know. But what helped me during my 16 months of chronic pain was to do my best to focus on my work, my husband and children. I watched movies. I tried to change my focus from my medical condition to something else that was positive.

It didn’t always work and there were many times when I simply fell back with frustration, anger and fear. I spent a lot of time crying to my husband. It was not easy. But I believe what kept me from losing my mind was my refusal to give in completely to my medical condition. I stopped talking about it to most people. When people asked, “You still have the pelvic pain? Why haven’t you found an answer?” it made me feel worse and more afraid that I would never find the answer or be out of pain. So I stopped interacting with those people about my medical condition.

I chose who I interacted with very carefully. I paid attention to how I felt with certain people. There’s nothing worse than well-meaning loved ones pummeling you with questions about your medical condition because they are anxious about it.

Get an advocate. Find a loved one who is medically savvy and ask her/him to partner with you in your journey. Can she/he go with your to a couple of medical appointments? This takes some of the burden off of you and it helps to converse with someone after a medical appointment. I enlisted a good friend who was very medically savvy as my advocate.

Find others who deal have your medical condition but look for people who are successfully dealing with it. It doesn’t mean you have to find someone who no longer has your condition, but it’s important to find people who are still managing their lives and living with the condition. This is about helping yourself. I found other pelvic pain patients who I could talk to but I was careful about interacting with people who were completely consumed with their medical condition at all times.

Q: What’s the biggest misconception about patient advocacy, in your view?

The biggest misconception about patient advocacy, in my opinion, is that patients or medical professionals view it as usurping the job of the medical professional. Not so. They are the experts, not us.

Patient advocacy is about implementing strategies I’ve suggested in my books to support your doctors’ efforts not to replace them. But it’s also about educating yourself so you can decide for yourself if a treatment plan is right for you or if a diagnosis sounds right according to your research or second opinions with other physicains.

Patient advocacy is about advocating for the patient but it’s also about being savvy with medical professionals and developing good communication skills so you can interact with them without stepping on their toes. You want collaboration and the way to get that is to diplomatically partner with your doctor. Many doctors are very open to this now because in the end an educated, empowered patient helps them too. But some still are not. If not, walk away. I met with two doctors who were not interested in a collaborative relationship with me as a patient. I walked away.

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www.readersfavorite.com

Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite

As soon as I saw the title of Martine Ehrenclou’s book I knew I had to read it. In "The Take-Charge Patient: How You Can Get the Best Medical Care" by Martine Ehrenclou we learn much about patients’ rights and how we can be our best advocate. She discusses a broad range of topics from how to find the right doctor or other health care professional and discounted medications to dealing with insurance companies. There is so much in this book that I can barely scratch the surface in a review.
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This author, a patient advocate, does a fantastic job offering everyone who reads this book a chance to become their very own ‘protector.’ With interviews and ‘insider’ information collected from people in the healthcare community, she covers everything from how to choose the right doctor to how to untangle the twists and turns of medical insurance.

Splitting the book into easy to read, and, better yet, easy to understand, categories - readers first learn about the author’s own trials with the medical industry and how she used her skills and studies to become a ‘Take-Charge Patient.’ The book then takes the reader by the hand and leads them through the process carefully and intelligently.

Ms. Ehrenclou has made sure to touch on all bases in order to help people feel better and safer about their medical care by taking charge of their own future.

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http://www.featheredquill.com/selfhelp.shtml

This author, a patient advocate, does a fantastic job offering everyone who reads this book a chance to become their very own ‘protector.’ With interviews and ‘insider’ information collected from people in the healthcare community, she covers everything from how to choose the right doctor to how to untangle the twists and turns of medical insurance.

Splitting the book into easy to read, and, better yet, easy to understand, categories - readers first learn about the author’s own trials with the medical industry and how she used her skills and studies to become a ‘Take-Charge Patient.’ The book then takes the reader by the hand and leads them through the process carefully and intelligently.

Ms. Ehrenclou has made sure to touch on all bases in order to help people feel better and safer about their medical care by taking charge of their own future.

Quill Says: Becoming a take-charge patient and looking after your own health definitely begins by reading this informational and extremely helpful book!



See Feature Blog Post Here.

(The Take-Charge Patient) the book is a must-have for anyone wanting to increase their odds of getting the best treatment possible. I knew I had to write about it.

I was aware Martine had written another book, and was only a few pages into this latest title, before I’d Amazon’d her first award-winning book, Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive. Though both came to be because of Martine’s own experiences, it felt as if she had written a story I’d already lived. Her account of dealing with the illness of her mother, was reminiscent of my own experience trying to do what I could, for my ailing mother.
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The Take-Charge Patient Book Review

I have had the pleasure of meeting Martine Ehrenclou, author of The Take-Charge Patient.  She is an incredible patient advocate, who also happens to be wickedly smart and intuitive.  Martine’s efforts fall nothing short of excellent.

You will find that The Take-Charge Patient speaks to everyone.  Martine has essentially created a healthcare life vest and thrown it out there to help all of us.  If you are wondering why some have sweet success in the healthcare arena while others are barely staying afloat, look no further.

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Easy to read (and guaranteed to be a better way to pass time than anything else in the waiting room) both are full of ways to help your doctors and nurses help you, whether or not you have a diagnosis. She offers tips for saving money, as well as suggestions for understanding and making good use of your insurance coverage. The tips within, are easy to employ.

Additionally, Martine’s methodology reminds us that doctors and nurses are human beings who deserve our consideration and respect. Having had the very unfortunate experience of seeing/hearing irate family members disrespectfully addressing medical professionals, I appreciated the underlying reminder of something which should be obvious, the better our rapport with professionals, the more invested they will be in the care for the patient.

There is some overlap between the two books, because The Take Charge Patient is written for the patient, while Critical Conditions was written for the patient’s advocate, but they function nicely as a pair. There are literally hundreds of valuable tips within these books, and while some may seem obvious, when you’re faced with the emotional magnitude and distraction of big issues, it’s very easy to forget small, but important details.

These books are intended to help us ask the right questions, talk to the right people, do everything we can to get the best possible treatment, while avoiding very common medical mistakes and mishaps. Whether we are advocating for yourself or somebody else, these books explain how to go from passive to proactive without coming across as demanding. There is no price that can be attached to health and no frustration greater than the helplessness of not knowing what to do when faced with illness. If you are ever so unfortunate, as to be wondering what you can do for yourself or someone else, having this information close at hand, could make either or both books worth much more than their cost. It is my sincere hope you’ll never need either book, but if you ever need them, I hope you’ll have them.

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The LL Book Review
This book is exactly what I would expect such a work to be. It is well written, informative, full of surprises and specific recommendations on how to deal with them. The language is simple enough that any high school graduate can understand it, but has enough depth to satisfy the most educated non-medical reader.

I would give it a ten if the scale went that high. However, since the scale only goes to five, I will have to settle for that.

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Midwest Book Review
Good healthcare is more than a good doctor. "The Take-Charge Patient: How You Can Get the Best Medical Care" is a guide to pushing oneself on how to get the best healthcare out of one's system, by aggressively pursuing the best doctors, be prepared for medical appointments to work with the doctor most effectively, notice errors doctors may miss, save money, and generally form better partnerships with the medical professionals. "The Take-Charge Patient" is a must for those who are shopping for healthcare and want to make sure they get the most value for their investment.

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Living Life As I See Fit Blog - Lana Barhum
I recently had the pleasure of reading The Take-Charge Patient: How YOU Can Get the Best Medical Care‏ by Martine Ehrenclou. In The Take-Charge Patient, Martine was able to take her own personal experience and create an informative and creative resource that others can relate to.

Most patients do not participate in their healthcare as efficiently and as effectively as they could.  I am referring to the relationship that patients have with their doctors rather than management of their health conditions.  You will find that Martine’s book, The Take-Charge Patient, speaks to everyone regardless of whether you are fairly healthy or you live with a chronic condition. It also allows the reader to understand how to get past the frustration of limited answers by taking the time to acknowledge that we are partners in our healthcare with our medical providers.

Read Feature Here...




Special Book Excerpt From The Take-Charge Patient (Part 1 of 4)

Part 1: Getting an Advocate
Part 2: Creating a Support System When You've Been Given a Serious Diagnosis
Part 3: Find the Right Specialist For You
part 4: How to Decide on a Treatment Plan

 

 

See reviews of Martine's award winning Critical Conditions.



Gold Winner
The Benjamin Franklin Awards 2013
Reference


Finalist Winner
The Benjamin Franklin Awards 2013
Self-Help



Winner, Bronze in Health
ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards


Gold Winner
The Independent Publisher Awards, (IPPY) Health/Medicine


Gold Winner
Two Categories:
Medicine/Health Care & Health/Fitness
Global Ebook Awards 2013


Gold Winner
The Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2013 How-To


Nautilus Silver Award in Health 2013


Winner of Best NonFiction Book of the Year, Readers Views, Reviewers Choice Award 2013


Winner (Gold)
Young Voices Foundation Award


Best in Nonfiction
Written Art Awards


Winner (Gold)
USA Best Book Awards


Winner (Gold)
Health Mom's Choice Awards


Winner (Gold)
Readers Favorite Book Awards


Winner (Bronze)
Living Now Book Awards


Book of the year in Health
Books&Authors.net


Honorable Mention
New York Book Festival


NABE Pinnacle Book
Achievement Award Winner
Summer 2012


1st in Health
Readers Views Literary Book Awards 2012



EDITORIAL REVIEWS SECTION
from AMAZON.com

“For anyone facing a complex diagnosis or condition in today’s increasingly complicated health world, The Take-Charge Patient is a valuable tool and guide with sound advice that won’t soon be outdated. Ehrenclou covers everything with the kind of authority and know-how only someone who has experienced these challenges first-hand can achieve. The information is thorough, the tone comforting, and straightforward suggestions make even the most daunting tasks seem doable.” (ForeWord Reviews)

“Every American family should read and keep a copy of the excellent The Take-Charge Patient, the well researched, fantastically organized book by Martine Ehrenclou. A definite keeper, it is not boring or overwhelming, all of the information is very practical and explained in an approachable, easy-to-follow and understand way. It offers credible information, necessary for a solid foundation on which to make better healthcare decisions for ourselves and those we care about.” (Reader Views Reviews)

“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.” (Book Pleasures)

“An extremely well-written, well thought out and well put together book. Ehrenclou takes the reader by the hand and provides him/her with step-by-step instruction on how to become that so important “Take-Charge” patient – rather than having her readers become medical victims due to lack of knowledge and resources needed to take charge of their medical situations. Ehrenclou seems to have a true calling as a patient advocate for herself and those in the world around her... (Rebecca’s Reads)

“…a treasure trove of useful information. Hailed by many in the medical community, this is an inside look at the way the medical system works and how to get the best medical care.” (BookViews)

“An excellent resource that should be available in every home, business, and medical facility.
The suggestions and information in The Take-Charge Patient are practical and realistic. The writing is easy to understand and well-researched.” (Bestsellers World)

“A brilliant and powerful roadmap for your success.
The Take-Charge Patient masterfully assists us in knowing how to take care of ourselves medically in this very challenging world.” (Huffington Post)

  “Enter a great book from Martine Ehrenclou, filled with advice so you can get the best medical care available.
It teaches you how to become your own advocate and be well informed about health care questions and decisions.” (Couponer Reviews)

“Ehrenclou's book is an essential tool for everyone.
There is so much information in this book a review can barely scratch the surface...” (Readers Favorite Book Reviews)

“…wholeheartedly
recommended to anyone who wants to take charge of their medical care. The Take-Charge Patient provides insider information that is a powerful resource for patients and caregivers alike. It empowers you to be proactive, and will be a valued book on my shelf for a long time to come.” (On My Bookshelf)


MORE REVIEWS

“This book is amazing…should be in every household nationwide. Written so that any layperson can read and understand, broken down into steps to guide you through what you need to do – it is the best guidebook I have seen on the market to date.” (Fresh Reviews)

“A necessity that will seriously help anyone and everyone who is tired, frustrated, and frightened with the medical care that they are receiving. The author, a patient advocate, does a fantastic job offering all who read this book a chance to become their very own ‘protector.’ Splitting the book into easy to read, easy to understand, categories, Ms. Ehrenclou has made sure to touch on all bases to help people feel better and safer about their medical care by taking charge of their own future. Becoming a “take-charge patient” and looking after your own health definitely begins by reading this informational and extremely helpful book!” (Feathered Quill Reviews)

“A must-have for anyone wanting to increase the odds of getting the best treatment possible. Whether you are seeking a diagnosis, facing serious illness, or providing support for someone else, this easy-to-read book will provide invaluable help. Have this information close at hand…there are literally hundreds of valuable tips within.” (Deblog for Women)

 

 
       
         
           

 
   

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