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"{The Determined Patient is a} starting point for novice patients seeking advice for interacting with members of the medical community. It’s also aimed at those looking to get a better understanding of their own health. At its heart is an emphasis on ‘partnering' with one’s doctor by being prepared for appointments, communicating honestly about symptoms, and clearly expressing when one doesn’t understand something: 'Your doctor isn’t an authority figure to be obeyed by a compliant patient. Those days are over,' the authors say, stressing that 'you need to be able to talk to your doctor about your health concerns and not fear that you’ll be belittled or dismissed.' The authors encourage patients to research their symptoms … 
{E}mpowering guide for taking control of one’s health care experience."
- Kirkus Reviews

When confronted with a medical illness, whether your own or that of a loved one or friend, it’s easy to feel lost and confused as you begin to navigate your way through the medical system with all its complexities. You want to get the care and treatment that’s best for you—customized medicine is the future of medicine, after all. But that means you, as the patient, need to know how to do the kind of research that your physician may not be able to do for you for whatever reason. It’s your health, and you can become an effective partner to your physician so that you get an accurate diagnosis or diagnoses and your treatment can be tailored to produce optimal results.

That’s where The Determined Patient comes in.

A powerfully effective approach to researching all the best options for immediate and future treatment might make all the difference in your achieving optimal care and the best possible health outcome. That’s especially true if you have a medical mystery and aren’t willing to accept your current state of health—or you’re faced with a disease or condition for which the prognosis is dire and you aren’t sure what treatment is right for you as a unique individual.

It’s increasingly common for patients today to have to change doctors often, making consistency of care a challenging goal. By becoming a determined patient, you can make up for gaps created by the difficulties physicians face in managing the cases of hundreds of patients who have ever-changing conditions and needs.

You’ll also want to know how to achieve access to the highest quality health care, make the best decisions about what to do for your health, and follow through on those decisions. The Determined Patient will show you how to be a strong self-advocate who is confident, prepared, and effective as you partner with medical professionals in caring for your health, leaving no stone unturned as you seek the answers you deserve.

The Determined Patient is a book by two physicians that will teach the reader to be a strong advocate and team member who is confident, prepared, and effective when partnering with medical professionals in caring for their health.

Robert S. Danziger, MD, a cardiologist, has been an academic university professor, actively teaching, practicing medicine, and running an NIH-funded basic science laboratory studying heart failure and hypertension.


Mary E. Gellens, MD, is a nephrologist (a kidney specialist) who has been a practicing physician, academic faculty member, and senior director in the pharmaceutical industry.


With over 60 years' combined experience in the medical field, we have seen that patients who partner with us experience better health outcomes—and we want that for every patient. Our work with seriously ill patients has convinced us there is a strong need for a tool to help them feel emboldened to take charge of their health care.

Please note that The Determined Patient is not a substitute for medical care, but it will empower you to partner effectively with the best possible medical professionals to work with you.


You can optimize the care you receive and your health outcome—if you’re willing to become a determined patient and powerful self-advocate.

LEARN how to:

●  research your condition and develop expertise on it

●  recognize the signs that you may have been misdiagnosed or have an undiagnosed condition on top of your primary one

●  identify the best, most up-to-date specialists with whom to partner

●  discover the latest information on treatments and perhaps even connect with key opinion leaders/researchers who can provide cutting-edge insights

●  dialogue with your doctors effectively, even during short visits

●  ask all the crucial questions

●  feel entitled to and receive answers that satisfy your need for information and guidance

●  be honest with yourself and your medical team about any obstacles that are preventing you from following doctor’s orders

●  research costs for procedures, tests, and medical care and even perhaps prevent unexpected large bills

●  discover ongoing clinical trials you might participate in or benefit from in some other way, such as through a “compassionate care” program

●  work with your primary physician in charting the best course forward in care, whether it involves different physicians, medical centers, treatments, and/or clinical trials

●  discover and understand the latest research that can help you in making treatment decisions and understanding your condition

Even a patient who is a well-informed, emboldened self-advocate needs to find the right doctor to partner with and, in many cases, the right medical center and specialists, too.

What's in the book?



Chapter 1:  Become a Determined Patient

Chapter 2: Determined to Partner with Professionals: Finding the Best Doctors and Medical Care for You

Chapter 3:  Determined to Find Answers: A Roadmap to Researching Your Condition

Chapter 4:  Determined to Follow Through on Your Treatment: Being Honest about “Compliance”

Chapter 5: Determined to Turn Over Every Stone: Broadening Your Research    

Chapter 6: Determined to Understand: The Basics of Reading Journal Articles on Research


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