Friday, December 3, 2021

Coming up 11/29/21 at 9:30am pst -- Author Janice Horowitz covered health at Time Magazine for two decades and created and hosted Dueling Docs: The Cure to Contradictory Medicine for public radio. In her new book, Health Your Self What's Really Driving Your Care and How to Take Charge, she shares her critical insights, so you can successfully advocate for yourself.

Health Your Self: What's Really Driving Your Health and How to Take Charge 

By Janice M. Horowitz

Click the video below:

The book is getting a lot of media attention. Newsweek gave it a five-page spread and PBS's Next Avenue (70 million subscribers) covered it, which was picked up by Yahoo News, MSN and Marketwatch.

Janice Horowitz covered health at Time Magazine for two decades and created and hosted Dueling Docs: The Cure to Contradictory Medicine for public radio.


The practice of medicine today has become so convoluted, so gigantically complicated, that you are often reduced to the least important consideration in your own care.

In Health Your Self: What's Really Driving Your Care and How to Take Charge (Post Hill Press, May 18, 2021) former veteran TIME magazine health journalist Janice M. Horowitz reveals the behind-the-scenes influences that compromise your health care every time your doctor writes a prescription, orders a test or selects a treatment plan. Health Your Self transforms you into a healthy skeptic, one who knows how to spot—and outsmart—hidden forces at work whenever you seek care.

Imagine you go to a doctor and a privacy curtain is drawn. On the other side of the curtain, a cadre of players is passing notes, each angling to have an agenda fulfilled that will have a dramatic—and too often detrimental—impact on your health. For example:

When a physician refers a patient to a colleague in a hospital, there’s a concealed influence: he gets a bonus.

When a patient is handed unnecessary antibiotics at urgent care, the doctor could be bucking for a five-star rating on a patient satisfaction survey. Enough of those, he gets a raise.

When a doctor has a CT-scanner in his office, he’s more likely to use it. On you. He’s likely trying to offset the cost of the machine, even if it means unnecessarily exposing you to high doses of radiation.

Health Your Self teaches you observation skills so keen, that you can sniff out these background influences and know exactly how to navigate around them. Horowitz encourages you to keep at it, until analyzing, questioning, and bravely speaking up become second nature whenever you’re faced with a health concern. Doctors will respect you all the more—and you’ll wind up with the best care possible.

Through relatable, real-life stories, Health Your Self takes you through the arc of your life, starting with birth, when doctors impose a hospital protocol called “active management of labor” that everyone on staff knows about, but not you—and ending in old age when you wind up taking medications that haven’t been tested on anyone in your age bracket. Each chapter concludes with What Can You Do tips, culminating in the final chapter, Take Charge, Take Care, that provides a definitive list of questions patients should ask themselves, and then, questions to ask out loud to their doctors.

Horowitz’s nearly two decades of experience as a health journalist, along with her own experience getting hit on the back of her head and becoming seriously debilitated as a result, are what turned her into a healthy skeptic. With Health Your Self, she shares her critical insights, so you too, can successfully advocate for yourself, including:

Importance of a Second Perspective: Don’t settle for just a second opinion, get a second perspective from a doctor in a different field altogether. For migraines, start with a neurologist, then try a pain specialist. For back problems, go to an orthopedist and then a physiatrist who specializes in muscles.

The Power of Big Pharma: To extend their reach—and profits—drug companies aim their medications at large swaths of the population. They target all young children by turning fairly normal behaviors, such as trouble focusing, into a full-fledged disease, and all older women by throwing drugs at naturally occurring weakened bones when alternative approaches, or doing nothing at all, may also work.

Understanding Doctors’ Motives: Physicians feel compelled to follow medical society guidelines, even if the research behind the guidelines is thin, or they don’t make sense for someone just like you, with your vitality, genes and all the imponderables you bring to a health situation. If something goes wrong, doctors can defend themselves with an easy rebuttal: “I did it by the book.”

“I have an abiding respect for doctors, who usually go into medicine for noble reasons, but my book reveals what patients can’t see, what’s going on behind the scenes, and crucially, what they can do about it,” says Horowitz. “My goal is to share with readers medical stories about people, many of whom are my own family and friends, and offer concrete advice. By the end of each chapter, they’ve not only had a good read, they’ve gained a sixth sense about exactly what they need to do when they go to a doctor.”

About the Author:

Janice M. Horowitz covered health for Time magazine for nearly two decades; created and hosted the public radio segment Dueling Docs: The Cure to Contradictory Medicine; and contributed to The Economist, Allure, and The New York Times. Learn more about Health Your Self at and connect with Janice M. Horowitz on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Advance Praise for Health Your Self:

“Backed with her twenty years of health reporting for Time, Janice M. Horowitz produced this eminently readable guide that empowers you to get the healthcare you really need. More knowledge, less waste, better care.”
—Frank Lalli, the Health Care DetectiveTM at NPR’s Robin Hood Radio

“This is a controversial book and I’m ready for the tough questions my patients are bound to ask after reading it.”
—Jane Farhi, Cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City

“Finally, your own personal and portable patient advocate! Chock full of personal stories, this book is a public service. You’ll wind up the smartest person in the waiting room.”
—Lillie Rosenthal, D.O., New York City

“Health Your Self takes you behind the privacy curtain. When you turn the last page, you realize you were just handed everything it takes to get the best medical care possible.”
—Leslie Laurence, Co-author of Outrageous Practices

With people finally getting back to their doctors, Health Your Self shows readers how to do it right. Based on my two decades covering health for Time Magazine, the book reveals the hidden forces driving patients' health care, and, step-by-step provides the questions to ask to navigate around them.

Newsweek Q & A

Newsweek excerpt

PBS Next Avenue

Amazon link: Amazon

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