Never Bet Against Occam: A Book In Review

“I have been given this book as part of a book review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the book was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “

Working in the field of medicine for over 15 years, and as a patient, I am always researching and studying. When I had an opportunity to read this book I was very intrigued by the synopsis. I wasn’t sure what to expect. 

This book is a step by step explanation about Mast Cell Activation Disease. As I was reading this book, I felt that I was reading a medical mystery. Each chapter the author explains in detail about a case study, he goes through the diagnosis and all the testing, but you have to get to the end of the chapter before you know the results. As I read further in the book, the cases became more complex. more symptoms, more disease processes per patient and more testing and labs.

As a leader in the field of Hematology and also Systemic Mast Cell disorders, Dr. Afrin does a brilliant job breaking things down for his readers. With several of the case studies that are depicted in this book, Dr. Afrin meticulously takes you through all his pitfalls in his diagnosis and therapies. He helps remind the reader that he is human too.

The first several chapters Dr. Afrin helps you to understand what Mast Cell Activation is.  He walks you through his first couple of patients. You feel his curiosity, his frustration, you feel his emotion as he talks about some of his first patients.

As you hear about each patient and as he breaks down their diagnosis, he also goes over all the testing. As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, there were only certain labs that we needed to know, so I wasn’t that familiar with all the labs that Dr. Afrin was referring to in this book. However, he provides definitions and does a great job explaining why is he ordering each test and each lab. Additionally, when the tests and labs come back, he explains the results very clearly and gives you the why’s

As Mast Cell Activation Disease becomes a greater part of mainstream medicine, this book is going to be very important for clinicians. You don’t have to be a PhD or medical specialist to understand some of the topics that are discussed in this book. The brilliance is the way the author breaks everything down for the reader. I have a medical background, I didn’t know many of the labs…but I was still able to follow each case study and I felt that I learned so much each case study that I read about.

This is not an easy read, but it is fascinating if you like medical mysteries, if you like research or if you like reading anything from the medical community. There is great clear explanations and plenty of definitions in the back of the book for just about every medical term you encounter.