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Know Your Chances

Every day we are bombarded by television ads, public service announcements, and media reports warning of dire risks to our health and offering solutions to help us lower those risks. But many of these messages are incomplete, misleading, or exaggerated, leaving the average person misinformed and confused. "Know Your Chances" is a lively, accessible, and carefully researched book that can help consumers sort through this daily barrage by teaching them how to interpret the numbers behind the messages.In clear and simple steps, the authors - all of them staff physicians at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont - take the mystery out of medical statistics. By learning to understand the medical statistics and knowing what questions to ask, readers will be able to see through the hype and find out what - if any - credible information remains. The book's easy-to-understand charts will help ordinary people put their health concerns into perspective. This short, reader-friendly volume will foster communication between patients and doctors and provide the basic critical-thinking skills necessary for navigating today's confusing health landscape.
Product Details

Table of Contents

What This Book Is About PART ONE. WHAT IS MY RISK? 1. Understanding Risk 2. Putting Risk in Perspective 3. Risk Charts: A Way to Get Perspective PART TWO. CAN I REDUCE MY RISK? 4. Judging the Benefit of a Health Intervention 5. Not All Benefits Are Equal: Understand the Outcome PART THREE. DOES RISK REDUCTION HAVE DOWNSIDES? 6. Consider the Downsides 7. Do the Benefits Outweigh the Downsides? PART FOUR. DEVELOPING A HEALTHY SKEPTICISM 8. Beware of Exaggerated Importance 9. Beware of Exaggerated Certainty 10. Who's Behind the Numbers? EXTRA HELP Quick Summary Glossary Number Converter Risk Charts Credible Sources of Health Statistics Notes Index

About the Author

Steven Woloshin, MD, MS, Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS, and H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, are general internists, faculty members at Dartmouth Medical School, and researchers in the VA Outcomes Group, Department of Veterans Affairs, White River Junction, Vermont. Woloshin and Schwartz have written many articles together for leading medical journals, and Welch is the author of Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here's Why (UC Press).


"Short and simple... Present(s) the basic skills necessary in navigating today's confusing health-media landscape. " Library Journal " Delightful and educational reading, simple enough for laypeople to understand yet academic enough to meet the needs of ... students." -- L. Synovitz Choice "Know Your Chances is an accessible and empowering text." Journal Of Biosocial Science "A great reminder that ... medical claims should always be evaluated by how they affect you and your current state of health." Tampa Tribune "A great reminder that ... medical claims should always be evaluated by how they affect you and your current state of health." Highlands Today "Read this book first and then think again." Time Magazine

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