The Empowered Patient: How to Get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time by Elisabeth S. Cohen – New York: Ballantine, 2010

I first read this book shortly after it was released in 2010. It is now a well-worn paperback that is still frequently referenced. There are many great reads that give you helpful clues on how to navigate our modern healthcare system. How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, MD and The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, MD are two of my favorites that are also reviewed on this site.

Elisabeth Cohen is not a physician, but a CNN correspondent with a background in public health.

She writes clearly and powerfully from the perspective of the patient and the parent… I think that is what gives her such a wide appeal. I was horrified by her story of a series of miscommunications in a NICU that caused her baby harm. As an ex-neonatologist, I know that this type of problem still occurs at a much higher rate than is ever discussed. Watch her YouTube presentation and buy this book. It is an important part of your personal healthcare library.