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From Anecdote to Antidote

This book is dedicated to the memory of Brian Klein and
the sadness of his passing; and to my wife, Caryn – to
our family and the brightness of our lives.

I would like to thank Dee DelBello for the encouragement to write this book. Thanks also to Marci Smith, Robert Rozycki, and most especially to Derek Rydall, without whose help this task would never have succeeded.

You can pre-order this book at these online retailers:

You can also find it at your local bookstore.


Excerpt From Anecdote to Antidote:



“It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
––Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi

One of my main goals with this book is to ease the intimidation I see in my patients’ eyes as I consult with them for the first time. Not because I don’t enjoy being put on a pedestal (I do), but because of how it influences their behavior while we discuss such important things as their medical history, weight, allergies, past medical procedures, et cetera. I can’t tell you how many second opinions I’ve given, often in complete reversal of a previous doctor’s diagnosis, that could have been easily avoided if the patients had simply been more honest and less intimidated by their doctor during their initial consultation.

I can understand the sense of intimidation. Sometimes people feel uncomfortable or insecure around someone who may have had a more extensive education than they have. In addition, as in any human situation, there is the issue of “power”. Think about it: you’re entrusting your health and well-being into the hands of someone outside your family, someone you don’t know, someone who (in most cases) went to school for an additional eight years after college and regularly cut into corpses as practice for tending to your healthcare needs. On top of which, you’re sitting there in his office — on his turf — in a paper dress with your rear end hanging out.

Of course, I could tell you the many ways in which doctors are people. We take out our own trash, do our own shopping, mop our own floors, even stand in front of the over-the-counter drug aisle — just as perplexed as you are — when we have a runny nose or stomachache. We forge relationships with patients, develop individual likes and dislikes, and can often both sympathize and empathize with those in our care. We fall in and out of love, go through mid-life crises, keep hobbies, and pursue interests — like, say, writing a book — and we (hopefully) learn something from each interaction and experience. As my creative writing teacher once told me (or should I say, told me many, many dozens of times), “It’s better to show than tell.”

So here’s where I start. By recounting the people I’ve met over the course of my career on the following pages, and recounting the things I’ve learned from them, I will show you the many ways in which doctors — mainly myself — are more human than one might expect and far more fallible than people give us credit for. It is not my hope to throw egg on my face or the faces of my colleagues, but instead to inspire you to be more confident, brave, and forthcoming the next time you’re sitting across from your own doctor and telling him about your various aches and ills.

I could tell you to picture him in his underwear, but I know that’s pretty hard to do when you’re sitting there in yours. So instead, I’ll show you, time and again, that doctors are human too.

Check out all three categories: “People” – “Places” – “Things


For a complete read of From Anecdote to Antidote, you can purchase Dr. Klein's masterpiece of medical insight, ON SALE NOW! After a thirty-plus years in the medical profession Dr. Klein has gathered together must read stories. Visit AMAZON to buy your very own copy.

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Copyright (©) 2006–8 Richard Klein, M.D.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or any other means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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© Richard S. Klein MD · All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without express permission from the author.
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