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Winner of the 2013 Human Rights Literature Award Medical oncologist Ranjana Srivastava contends that our healthcare professionals are ill equipped for frank discussions with patients, leading to misdiagnosis, avoidable medical complications and even death.

Winner of the 2013 Human Rights Literature Award
Medical oncologist Ranjana Srivastava contends that the best medicine begins with a good chat, to guide the decision-making of both doctors and patients.

Increasingly, people are unable to properly comprehend the complex treatment choices on offer, or are self-diagnosing and demanding unnecessary or risky procedures. Doctors, in turn, feel unable to deny the requests of patients and their families. Narrow specialisation also means no-one is discussing the overall picture of a patient's health. Srivastava warns that people are suffering – even dying – as a result, and the medical profession should be taking responsibility.

In a frank and clear-eyed assessment of an unacknowledged crisis, she makes an impassioned case for healthcare training to incorporate effective communication skills.


A humane treatise exploring the relationship between doctors and their patients.

West Australian

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    April 24, 2013


    96 pages

    RRP $9.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    November 26, 2012

    Penguin eBooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • Human Rights Award
    Literature Award

Also by Ranjana Srivastava

After Cancer: Penguin Special
So It's Cancer: Now What?
Tell Me the Truth: Conversations with my patients about life and death


No Middle Name
Uncommon Type
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View
Paris For One And Other Stories
Men Without Women
At My Table
Up the Duff: The Real Guide to Pregnancy
Women Who Run With The Wolves
The Dreams Of Bethany Mellmoth
Toddler Tactics
The Pier Falls
The Shore
Fever Hospital
Our Bodies, Our Babies
Troubled Bodies
The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories
The Lose Your Belly Diet
Homesick For Another World