August 2003 Bulletin

2003 "Body Almanac" is a patient education tool

By Sandra Lee Breisch

If you're looking for a creative way to enhance your patient-physician relationships–while at the same time marketing your practice and getting your patients involved in their own health care–consider ordering a copy or two of The 2003 Body Almanac, Your Personal Guide to Bone and Joint Health at any Age.

Although this new AAOS publication was written specifically for consumers, many AAOS members are finding it useful in their practice.

"The benefits of having a copy for my patients in my waiting room have gone a long way," attests Thomas R. Johnson, MD, who is in group practice in Billings, Mont., and is a member of the Publications Committee. "As patients read through the book, it certainly helps them to bring up questions that they might not have thought to ask or were too embarrassed to ask. When a patient comes into the exam room, I can spend time discussing his/her musculoskeletal or any other concerns the patient has or might see in the book. And having the book in the waiting room is also a wonderful way for patients to pass time."

A patient of Thomas R. Johnson, MD, is happy to receive a complimentary copy of the 2003 Body Almanac

Dr. Johnson noted that he and his patients–who gave him positive feedback–loved the book so much that he purchased 100 copies at the AAOS discounted rate. "For example, say I have patients come in with shoulder problems that I've treated conservatively, but now need surgery. I give them the book to provide some guidelines. The book is written in laymen's terms and is so easy for them to understand," he explains. "I also give them the book as a ‘thank you' for selecting our practice."

Multiple benefits

According to Dr. Johnson, the benefits of giving his patients The 2003 Body Almanac are many. "The book serves a real need for my patients. Additionally, I suggest patients read the book–especially chapters that pertain to their musculoskeletal concerns or problems–and share it with their spouses, adult children, or if need be, any friends that might find it helpful," he explains. "It's really such an easy-to-read reference book for any person, at any age or activity level, and perfect for those interested in staying healthy and fit, parents of active kids, and those responsible for an aging parent or relative."

What are his patients' reaction to a gift that keeps on giving?

"My patients are pleasantly surprised," he responds. "They come back to me with comments such as how useful it was for them or for others they've shared the book with."

By incorporating the book into Dr. Johnson's patient education program, he gets his patients involved in their own health care. He says, "I feel confident that my patients are getting accurate and helpful information from a book that was edited by my peers."

The book was edited by Glenn B. Pfeffer, MD; Ramon L. Jimenez, MD; John F. Sarwark, MD; and Letha Yurko-Griffin, MD, PhD; Susan Crites Price authored it.

"What's also unique about The 2003 Body Almanac," points out Dr. Johnson, "is that the book helps my patients recognize that the problems they have are often common problems. They are relieved to find others have similar musculoskeletal problems."

Dr. Johnson also notes that the book is ideal as a "centerpiece" marketing tool for community presentations at local schools, hospitals or wellness centers.

Priced at $19.95, the soft-cover guide covers a wide array of common musculoskeletal complaints and conditions. The AAOS is offering the following discounts for volume orders to doctors (non-consumers): 5-19 copies— 10 percent; 20-49 copies—20 percent; 50-99 copies—25 percent, 100 or more copies—33 percent.

If you would like to order your free Body Almanac promotional kit to display in your practice or to ask about volume discounts, call AAOS customer service at (800) 626-6726. You can also order the guide online or view sample sections .

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