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November 11, 1968

Questions You Don't Ask Your Doctor

Author Affiliations



by William Bolton, 270 pp, $6.95, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1968.

JAMA. 1968;206(7):1577. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150070115038

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For a variety of reasons patients and their families fail to get appropriate medical information. The questions in this book represent three broad groups of questioners: those who have a problem, usually minor, which they have not taken to a physician; those who wish a second opinion (usually about proposed therapy); and those separated by a real information gap from their physician. In the last group, perhaps the patient never asked his physician the question he sent to Dr. Bolton, or the physician didn't answer the question, or his answer was not understood.

Bolton's replies are much more satisfactory for the first two groups of questioners than for the last kind. He displays a kind of good-humored common sense that is most appealing; for example, after passing on much good advice to a lady worried about drugs she had taken early in pregnancy, Bolton concludes, "Fortunately, just worrying about it