In Collaboration With The
Gut Feelings: The Patient's Story
Personal Accounts of the Illness Journey
A Guide for Patients and Doctors

Learn from patient narratives to better manage Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI) and improve the Patient-Provider Relationship (PPR)

“Optimal care of DGBI is a collaboration where patient and provider achieve mutual goals: The provider elicits the patient’s illness experience and applies that knowledge along with the science of neurogastroenterology to select diagnostic strategies and optimize treatment.

The patient communicates to the provider the illness experience in a meaningful manner and then participates in diagnostic and patient decision making

This is patient-centered care”

World-Wide Sales for Gut Feelings

 “With every passing day, I learn how to make the most of my time and to direct my energy on things that I have the power to control while letting go of things I cannot. Throughout this
experience, I have gained a tremendous amount of insight into my life and what is important.”

“In the most difficult time of your illness, the illness might seem like a curse, but as you heal, you can use it to help you connect with others and learn to truly advocate for yourself.”

 “I am inspired and determined to use my experiences in a constructive way to help patients like myself who encounter misunderstanding, neglect, or abuse in our
medical system. I want to be an advocate.”

“The concept of the separation of mind and body is dominant and pervasive in Western thinking.
This has had profound negative effects on research, patient-care and the patient-physician relationship.”
Douglas A. Drossman MD, Co-Author

World-Wide Sales for Gut Feelings: The Patient's Story

For patients, this book will help you:

  • Gain up to date knowledge about the Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI)
  • ​Learn the scientific reasons as to why you have your symptoms
  • Learn about strategies to improve your relationship with your provider
  • ​Understand you are not alone in your illness experience

For providers, this book will help you: 

  • Learn management strategies for patients with complex and difficult to treat DGBI
  • Acquire key communication skills to better connect with your patients
  • Acquire the skills to establish collaborative patient-centered care
This book is dedicated to the patients who selflessly shared their personal healthcare experiences to help others in their medical journey, to George Engel who developed the concept of the Biopsychosocial Model, to the many members of the Rome Foundation whose mission is to "Improve the Lives of Patients with Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction," and to our spouses, Debbie Drossman and Bryan Ruddy, who supported us through the creation of this book.

Meet the Expert Authors 

Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Psychiatry
UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders
University of North Carolina
Center for Education and Practice of Biopsychosocial Patient Care and
Drossman Gastroenterology
Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Dr. Drossman is trained in gastroenterology and psychiatry and is an internationally recognized scientist, clinician, and educator in DGBIs and communication skills training. He is the founder, former president, and currently COO of the Rome Foundation. He is Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Psychiatry in Gastroenterology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also president of DrossmanCare, which develops workshops and training programs in communication skills, and he sees patients with complex DGBIs in his gastroenterology practice. 
Johannah Ruddy, M.Ed. | Patient Advocate and Consultant

Ms. Ruddy is a highly-recognized patient advocate with a background in education and management of non-profit health organizations. 

What doctors are saying

The credibility of the authors is impeccable. Dr. Drossman’s entire career, often mediated via his efforts through the Rome Foundation, has been devoted to providing the research and conceptual basis for a remarkable evolution in U.S. medicine: DGBI are the most completely described biopsychosocial disorders. This not only helps patients and practitioners but also guides the remainder of medicine in this new direction. Just as compelling is Ms. Ruddy’s personal story as a patient with IBS and how she suffered profoundly until treated by someone who understood the biopsychosocial model.

Robert C. Smith, MD, MACP
University Distinguished Professor
Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry
Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine
Gut Feelings is an essential resource for all participants in the health care system–not just patients and doctors– because we are or will be patients. The core of care delivery is the patient and their provider, and this guide focuses on how to successfully activate optimal patient-physician engagement. I urge all readers to heed and follow the advice provided in this book and to support its use and related materials in all clinical training programs for the benefit of patients and providers alike.

Douglas S. Levine, MD, AGAF, FACG
Manager and Sole Member, DSL Consulting LLC
Consultant to the Executive Committee, Rome Foundation Research Institute

What patients are saying

Gut Feelings is a must read for any medical or psychology student working in direct patient care. Dr. Drossman and Ms. Ruddy have created a valuable tool for all readers navigating the healthcare system, in particular gastroenterology and psychiatry, that will be useful for all in the years to come. As a chronic illness patient, I wish I would have had this guide at the beginning of my journey!

Lesley Isaacs
Now more than ever it is important for patients to advocate for themselves and for doctors to be more understanding, empathetic and validating of their patients' needs. Gut Feelings is an important book for both patients and practitioners alike. Gut Feelings provides practical knowledge and useful insights in a manner which is very easy to digest. 

Katherine Wald, LCSW
Licensed Psychotherapist
Certified EMDR Therapist & Patient
How exciting it is to write this second book as a sequel to "Gut Feelings: Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction and the Patient-Doctor Relationship." My co-author Johannah Ruddy and I decided that to truly understand patient-centered collaborative care, we must highlight the patient's experience in their illness journey. The positive feedback on the first book when Johannah elegantly described her transition from illness to health and her helplessness in the healthcare system to self-efficacy made it clear that more can be learned by listening to our patients. So, this book focuses on the medical stories of patients I have worked with to bring them from severe illness to a better place of recovery or adaptation.

Several key elements make our current book, Gut Feelings: The Patient's Story – Personal Accounts of the Illness Journey, unique:

• The patient becomes the center point for understanding diagnosis and management. We begin with the patient describing their experience with their illness, how they navigated through the healthcare system, the insights they learned, and their recommendations to others.

• Then, as their treating physician, I explain how that information shaped the nature of my care: how I made a diagnosis, what I used to treat and why, and how I implemented the care process to meet patient expectations.
• I also use the patient's information to offer fully referenced scientific knowledge about their medical conditions.

• Finally, Ms. Ruddy interprets the patient's story and the patient-provider relationship through her perspective as a patient advocate. She highlights what elements work and don't work using her knowledge interacting with dozens (maybe hundreds) of patients.

As with the first book, Gut Feelings: The Patient's Story, includes graphics and cartoons to illustrate the key messages further and provides video links for additional information and resources. 

We include a comprehensive glossary and an appendix containing a listing of international top-tier clinical programs that treat patients with DGBIs.

I hope you will find this book informative and meaningful.
Douglas A. Drossman MD

DrossmanCare is biopsychosocial care, whose mission is improving healthcare by establishing new global standard for patient provider communications. DrossmanCare works through a medical practice, an educational center, and our investor program.

The Rome Foundation is an independent not for profit 501(c) 3 organization that provides support for activities designed to create scientific data and educational information to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI). Our mission is to improve the lives of people with DGBI.

Also Checkout: 

Gut Feelings:

Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction 
and the Patient-Doctor Relationship 
A Guide for Patients and Doctors

© COPYRIGHT 2022, DrossmanCare
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5826 Fayetteville Road, Suite 201
Durham, NC 27713 USA