by Ben Eiseman, 402 pp, $14.95, Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1980.
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What Are My Chances? by Dr Ben Eiseman is an attempt to diagrammatically display the probabilities of success for both medical and surgical forms of treatment of more than 100 chronic and debilitating diseases. The book is similar in style to two previous works, Surgical Decision Making and its companion Prognosis of Surgical Disease. All three books use algorithms, or decision trees, for each condition, accompanied by explanations and editorial comments on the facing page.
Dr Eiseman's book is a valuable and timely contribution to the medical literature for both the practicing physician and, more importantly, the medical consumer. As the average patient becomes more knowledgeable concerning his right to adequate health care, the medical profession has appropriately been more carefully scrutinized as to its ability to provide that care. As the author points out in an opening chapter, the physician now must base his judgment on sound clinical evidence.
RAMSBURGH SR. What Are My Chances?. Arch Surg. 1981;116(6):842. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380180086020