I had the privilege of reading and commenting on Dr. Drossman and Johannah Ruddy’s third book in the Gut Feelings series. Each of the books offer different perspectives on the clinical experience by the physicians that care for patients with Disorders of the Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI), formerly Functional GI Disorders, and the patients that seek help for their disorder.
Gut Feelings: Doctors and Patient-Centered Care offers a completely different perspective, from the previous books, about the clinicians that care for patients. Dr. Drossman and Johannah have allowed the clinicians to share their personal connection to the medical profession and why they chose to guide patients through the clinical process. The clinicians assembled are a dream team of experts in the field of gastroenterology. I have known many of these experts for over twenty years due to my own patient advocacy efforts. Much of what I know in the GI space is due to the work performed by this dream team; however, until now, I was unaware of the reasons why these experts chose the study and practice of gastroenterology and namely DGBIs.
The stories authored by the experts are compelling and genuine. I would expect nothing less from these individuals who are amongst the world’s top key opinion leaders in DGBI. There are indications that many believe that DGBI patients are difficult and DGBI is not as treatable for instance as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or perhaps liver disease. These experts do not see it this way and they share why. They are very motivated to give their patients a better quality of life and advance the research in these challenging disorders.
Dr. Drossman identifies why this book could appeal both to doctors focusing on this area in medicine and DGBI patients. Doctors aspiring to be an expert in DGBIs will understand from the clinician stories how rewarding this very difficult work can be. They will see that many of the experts chose their own path and researched what they felt was an unmet need or where there were few answers for their patient’s symptoms. Patients will develop a deeper connection to a clinician that they might want to seek guidance from. Dr. Drossman and Johannah even list the practices of these experts with details about how patients can make an appointment.
When I heard from Dr Drossman and Johannah about the format of this book, I wasn’t sure it would be appealing to everyone. After reading it from cover-to-cover, I clearly understand how valuable this book is for mentoring the next generation of DGBI experts. Patients will gain a better understanding of who they can contact to work with their DGBI. It’s a very worthy book that I know I will be referring to often when asked for referrals by patients and clinicians.
Jeffrey D. Roberts, MSEd, BSc
Founder IBS Patient Support Group and World IBS Day
Co-Founder Tuesday Night IBS