How To Talk To Your Child’s Doctor

How To Talk To Your Child’s Doctor

by Christopher M. Johnson, M.D.


Like ships passing in the night – that is how to describe what too often happens when parents bring their child to the doctor. Parents do their best to describe their child’s problem; meanwhile the doctor listens and tries to fit what he or she is hearing into a diagnostic box. Most times the exchange results in the child getting what is needed, but this is too often in spite of, rather than because of, the dynamics of what happens in the examining room.

This book concerns a common and pernicious communication difficulty between doctors and parents. The problem is not language, although medical jargon sometimes impedes communication; the root of the problem is world view. Few parents understand what doctors are listening for when they talk to parents, and how they use what parents tell them to solve medical problems.

This book will admit parents to a doctor’s mental medical universe and explain how physicians solve problems. It will not make doctors of them, but it will make parents better partners in the diagnostic and therapeutic enterprise when their child is sick. The book uses problem-focused chapters with detailed, real-life examples to show them how to do that. At the end of the book, parents get a chance to try their hand at medical problem solving by using some real-life examples.

Table Of Contents

  1. Chapter 1: Like Ships Passing in the NightFirst Chapter Available Online
  2. Chapter 2: The Medical History: Where It All Starts
  3. Chapter 3: Looking and Touching: How and Why the Doctor Examines Your Child
  4. Chapter 4: Sharp Needles and Cold X-Rays: How Doctors Use Common Tests
  5. Chapter 5: Putting It All Together: The Differential Diagnosis
  6. Chapter 6: What To Do: How Doctors Choose Therapies For Your Child
  7. Chapter 7: Why We Are This Way: How Doctors Are Trained
  8. Chapter 8: Knowing More and More About Less and Less: Managing Specialists
  9. Chapter 9: When the Conversation Turns Sour: How to Handle a Difficult Doctor
  10. Chapter 10: Putting It All Together: Solving Problems As a Doctor Does