Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Decision Tree - by Thomas Goetz



The Choice is up to you....


Good health is the most important aspect of our life, but we seldom pay much attention to it till we fall sick. In this insightful book 'The Decision Tree', Thomas Goetz shows us why we should take control of our health and how this can have a significantly better outcome than just depending on our doctor. All our life, we have been taught that 'Doctor knows best' and we listen (even if we don't follow) to the doctor's advice. However Goetz show us that in this new era of Personalized Medicine, we need to take the decision making into our hands since neither the healthcare system nor the doctors are incentivized properly to focus on the preventive care that is critical.

How do we do this? That is the strategy that Goetz explains to us in this book using his 'Decision Tree' concept. The book is divided into three parts (a) Prediction & Prevention (b) Diagnosis & Detection (c) Care & Treatment. The first part focuses on how the recent advances in genomics can now start providing us the right basic data of our predispositions but still how difficult it is for us to change our habits even if we know that they are harmful. The second part concentrates on the screening and diagnosis tests - with the benefits and pitfalls and the third part targets the approaches to treatment efforts and how people are grouping together to find better ways of treating their diseases. In this time of enhanced privacy concerns I was thrilled to see web sites like www.patientslikeme.com and www.curetogether.com taking advantage of the internet to discover common solutions for those afflicted with similar diseases.

This book has made a significant change to how I view my health planning and I believe it will do the same to any reader who takes the effort to read the book. I would strongly recommend that you do.