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Love. Curiosity. Empathy. These words convey the essence of Dr. Geeta Nayyar’s approach to treating healthcare’s misinformation illness. And like all guests on our podcast—many of whom are authors—Nayyar knows there’s a better way.

When push comes to shove, what kind of doctor do you want at your bedside? I’d choose Geeta Nayyar (also known as “Dr. G”).

From the start of her book “Dead Wrong: Diagnosing and Treating Healthcare’s Misinformation Illness,” Dr. G makes clear her approach to patients who fall victim to misinformation, which she describes as a term for falsehoods spread in earnest.

Dr. G dives into this topic in the second season of our “There’s a Better Way” podcast in 2023 with an episode about how building trust with patients is key to battling misinformation. (True to the name of our podcast, we believe there’s a better way in healthcare through technology and innovation, and all our accomplished guests believe it, too.) In “Dead Wrong,” Dr. G’s dedication echoes what she said on our podcast about her philosophy and values as a doctor and human being:

  • This book is dedicated to the healthy and the sick. The knowledgeable and the ignorant. The rich and the poor. The old and the young. To those who believe in God and those who do not. To every patient I had the privilege to care for or will care for in the future. To every person and family who lost a life during the Covid-19 pandemic. To anyone who has been vaccinated. To anyone who has not been vaccinated. To anyone who has ever been curious about their health. To anyone who ever used Google to answer a question about the human body. This book is for you.

Love, curiosity and empathy are evident here, and they’re vital to building patient trust—the kind of trust with the power to weaken the pull of misinformation in the world outside the care setting.

“To curb misinformation, we must first understand it,” Dr. G writes on page 101. “And to build bridges among the people it affects, we need to understand them, too.”

In “Dead Wrong,” readers come to understand more fully what misinformation is, how it works, who it affects, and what we can do about it. We must do something about it, after all, because the stakes are so high: It can mean life or death. “Before we watch our misinformed patients meet their end,” Dr. G writes on page 13, “there is suffering—for the patient and their loved ones, and for their care teams. Good people bear unspeakable pain and regret, beginning their sentences with ‘If only’ and ‘I wish I had known.’”

I wish I had known.

In this light, patients who fall down a rabbit hole of misinformation are no less worthy of love, curiosity and empathy. In fact, that’s precisely when these are needed most.

That’s why I’d want Dr. G at my bedside.

Bonus Reads

Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., knows a thing or two about infectious disease, having served as the COVID-19 “testing czar” on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Giroir wrote about the experience in “Memoir of a Pandemic: Fighting COVID from the Front Lines to the White House.” On last season’s third episode of “There’s a Better Way,” hear how Giroir serves the nation by bringing healthcare to the people.

In a review for Aneesh Chopra’s book “Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government,” the historian (and Steve Jobs biographer) Walter Isaacson wrote that Chopra was “the leader of the movement to use technology to revolutionize government in the same way technology has been used to transform other aspects of our lives.” Chopra served as the first U.S. chief technology officer. Hear how he makes meaningful change at the intersection of healthcare, government and technology, in last season’s final episode of our podcast.

The third season of our award-winning podcast “There’s a Better Way” premiers this spring. Until then, listen to the first and second seasons here, which feature Nayyar, Giroir and Chopra, among many others who have made their mark in healthcare.

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