2 out of 4 stars
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Morton E Tavel, MD attempts to provide a one stop shop of common sense medical advice in Health Tips, Myths and Tricks. Did he accomplish that? Let’s find out. Dr. Tavel has some obvious frustration with pseudoscientific alternative medicine, and he wants to set the record straight in an attempt that I would give 2 out of 4 stars.
Now, why only two? I’m not criticizing Dr. Tavel’s credentials, nor do I think there are any glaring factual errors in the book. There were some oversimplifications of some topics that might have benefitted from some more nuance. For example, one passage implies that Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same thing. But some oversimplification is to be expected in a book that essentially takes sixty-two shallow dives into various medical issues. The first third of the book or so is some basic advice for nutrition, healthy living, and whatnot. The second third addresses misconceptions about healthy living that many people hold. The last third discusses misleading or fraudulent claims that consumers have fallen victim to.
Now, I say shallow dives, and I mean it. Despite being a whopping sixty-two chapters long, the book itself is extremely short. How can you fit all of the information that you need to in that small a space? Well…you don’t. It’s truly a shame that Dr. Tavel seemed to have over-distilled his knowledge on these subjects. But I think that he tried to do too much at once, and while it’s a useful overview, it really didn’t bring anything new to the table for me.
I really debated on whether to give Health Tips, Tricks, and Myths two or three stars because it really wasn’t bad. It’s easy to read, it’s easy to understand, there’s nothing so wrong with it to warrant a one-star review, that’s for sure. But, if I’m completely honest, it was a bit boring. Now, I am no doctor, but I do like medicine…in theory (the practice is a tad squishy for my taste). I do a lot of reading on health and lifestyle and honestly there wasn’t much here that I didn’t already know. However, if I try to step into the shoes of someone that is overwhelmed with all of the information that is out there about what we should do to stay healthy, I think that this would be a good starting point. It’s concise, it’s clear, and it has plenty of sources to find out more information on topics that the reader finds interesting.
So overall, while this book wasn’t really for me, I think that it’s still a worthwhile book that in the right hands has the potential to do some real good. It could use some minor polish, some of the lists weren’t quite formatted correctly and the numbering was off. I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone that is already invested in learning about health. However, to someone that wants a springboard to point them in the right direction, this is the book for you.
Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks
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