You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Tips to make sure doctors don’t tune you out

I always admire doctors who can write books criticizing their own profession, including any shortcomings they may have as practitioners, in an effort to improve patient care. In their new book, When Doctors Don’t Listen, Brigham and Women’s Hospital emergency room physicians Leana Wen and Joshua Kosowsky reveal what patients have long suspected: Doctors often tune out a patient’s story when seeking a diagnosis and simply clue in on specific symptoms, which may lead them to over-test and over-treat.

When patients utter the words “chest pain,” doctors may kick into immediate action, giving patients an aspirin to chew, an EKG to monitor their heart’s electrical activity, blood tests, and X-rays, and possibly keeping them overnight in the hospital to confirm or rule out a heart attack.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week