Too often we choose the wrong doctor for the wrong reasons. It doesn’t have to be that way. In The Good Doctor, physicians Kenneth Brigham and Michael M. E. Johns argue that we need to change the way we think about health care if we want to be the healthiest we can be. Counterintuitive as it may seem, uncertainty is integral to medicine, and you want a doctor who knows that: someone who sees you as the unique case you are, someone who knows that data isn’t everything, someone who is able to change her mind as the information changes. The myth of the infallible doctor is arguably worse now than ever—and our health is suffering for it. Brigham and Johns propose a new model of medicine, one that is comfortable with ambiguity and that centers on an equal partnership between patient and doctor. Uncertainty, properly embraced, opens a new universe of possibilities. As we enter a new age of medical technology, one that will see diseases cured that were once fatal, and offer new vistas of wellness for broad swaths of the population, we must also recover the primacy of humility and uncertainty among the fundamental values of patient care.

The Good Doctor should be required reading for anyone going into medicine.”

Daniel Barrow,
Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery,
Emory University

“A wonderful exploration into the nature of uncertainty in medicine and diagnosis. Medical care is at its best when the interaction between doctor and patient is collaborative; this book written by two preeminent physicians with deep insights into the profession gives us as patients great tools to be empowered.”

Abraham Verghese, MD,
author of Cutting for Stone

“Every American could benefit from this roadmap to navigate health care for themselves and their loved ones. Drs. Brigham and Johns, two highly respected giants in medicine, present an honest analysis of health care today.”

Marty Makary, MD,
Johns Hopkins professor
and author of The Price We Pay

“As recent world events have shown, even the most experienced doctors are constantly being confronted with daunting new challenges. This field guide to modern medicine explores how uncertainty can fuel innovation— and reminds us why we’re better off choosing a physician who asks the right questions than one who has all the answers.”

Alex Gorksy,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
Johnson & Johnson

“In The Good Doctor, Drs. Brigham and Johns share their insights regarding what are the characteristics to seek and to avoid when choosing a physician. Replete with illustrative stories, they share their perspectives gained through decades as practicing physicians at leading major medical institutions and their personal experiences as patients. They have combined their deep understanding of the current realities of medicine with the timeless truth that medicine is a person-to-person interaction to author this balanced and timely guide for all interested in choosing the ‘right’ physician.”

James O. Woolliscroft, MD, MACP, FRCP,
Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine,
Professor of Internal Medicine and Learning Health Sciences,
and Dean Emeritus,
University of Michigan Medical School

Michael M. E. Johns, MD, is professor of medicine and public health at Emory University, where he served as chancellor from 2007 until 2012. His career at Emory began in 1996 when he was appointed executive vice president for health affairs, CEO of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and chairman of the Board of Emory Healthcare. He previously served as dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and vice president for medicine at Johns Hopkins University from 1990 to 1996. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has served in leadership positions in many organizations.