Profession

Best-seller owner's manual illustrates body care

A surgeon and an anesthesiologist use fun and facts in an understand-yourself guide to better health.

By Damon Adams — Posted Dec. 19, 2005

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

You'll have to forgive Michael Roizen, MD, if he sounds a little giddy with excitement when he talks about his book, You: The Owner's Manual.

Since its release in May, it has reached the No. 1 spot on the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com book lists. It led to an appearance by Dr. Roizen and co-author surgeon Mehmet Oz, MD, of New York, on "Oprah." More than 1.4 million copies have been sold.

"We knocked Harry Potter from the top for about 17 days," said Dr. Roizen, who is chair of the division of anesthesia, critical care medicine and comprehensive pain management at the Cleveland Clinic.

You: The Owner's Manual, published by HarperResource, is an informative and entertaining journey through the body, a sort of do-it-yourself handbook for keeping your body healthy. The major organs and systems are covered, from the brain and the nervous system to the immune and digestive systems.

"It's trusted physicians writing in a way that makes the science very accessible and makes the whole thing fun," Dr. Roizen said.

Readers learn how muscles work, if sweat really stinks and what works to stop diarrhea. The pages are filled with myth-busters on medicine and all kinds of factoids. For example, 54% of men think about sex several times a day, compared with 19% of women.

"What we wanted to do was create something that shared the joy of medicine," said Dr. Roizen, author of the best-seller RealAge: Are You As Young as You Can Be. "We wanted to move from knowledge to understanding."

There's even a cartoon elf who enlivens illustrations: He naps on the soft palate, rides a unicycle inside the brain and puffs a cigarette in the lungs.

Dr. Roizen said he used to show sketches of the elf when he traveled on airplanes to gauge response to the character. Apparently, he was not worried about attracting female readers, but something was needed to help lure men.

"We stooped so low as to put [cartoon strips] in it so we could get guys to read it," he joked.

Dr. Roizen said the traditionally formal tone of medical writing does not go over as well with patients, and he hopes physicians will use the book to help describe the body and illnesses in a way patients will understand.

"It's an easy way for physicians to talk to patients," Dr. Roizen said. "I use it all the time to motivate patients."

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn