Summary of The Perils of Being Your Own Doctor

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The Perils of Being Your Own Doctor summary
When a doctor becomes convinced he is seriously ill with ALS, his specialists struggle to change his mind.


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In this compelling cautionary tale, emergency medicine specialist Mert Erogul describes how he came to believe that he had ALS, a frightening neurological condition with no cure – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He provides a disturbing insight into how an educated, analytical mind can come up with an answer and then create the evidence to back it up. The specialists said he was fine but couldn’t explain his worsening symptoms, so how could he believe them? Could his mind really be affecting his body so profoundly? getAbstract recommends this article to anyone curious about the mind-body connection.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why too much medical knowledge can be a dangerous thing
  • How far the mind can go in causing the body to manifest symptoms


When physician Mert Erogul was in his 40s, he noticed his knee was starting to give out. He examined it and thought perhaps it was worn out from commuting by bike and carrying his toddler around. Weeks later, when his arm became numb and achy, and his hand uncoordinated, he assumed it was a pinched nerve. When he dropped the microphone while delivering a lecture, however, it suggested something more serious.

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About the Author

Mert Erogul is an emergency doctor and teaches medical students at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine.

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