Lillian Wilson

The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu by Neil Schachter

Unlock the secrets to staying cold-free with The Good Doctor's Guide to Colds and Flu – an engaging guide to respiratory infections.

The Good Doctor's Guide to Colds and Flu

The book has received 4.3 ⭐️ from readers on Amazon.

Cold and seasonal flu pose a more significant threat than we might think. For instance, each year, Americans endure an astounding 1 billion colds, collectively expending $5 billion on remedies to alleviate their sniffles and discomfort. These commonplace viral infections take a heavy toll, resulting in the loss of 50 million workdays and 60 million school days. In addition to the common cold, influenza, often regarded as its malevolent counterpart, afflicts up to 60 million Americans and tragically claims the lives of twenty thousand individuals annually. Astonishingly, when combined, influenza and pneumonia become the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

To address this substantial health concern, Dr. Neil Schachte has written a book The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu. This read delves into six of the most prevalent respiratory infections, including colds and influenza, offering tailored strategies to safeguard against these ailments. Join us in examining the wealth of knowledge presented in this book.

Author’s background

Neil Schachter, M.D., holds the position of a pulmonary medicine professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and also serves as the medical director of the Respiratory Care Department.

Neil Schachter (r)

Furthermore, he has held the presidency of the American Lung Association of New York and has an impressive portfolio of 400 published articles and abstracts.

What is the book about?

The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu by Neil Schachter is a comprehensive guide that provides valuable insights into preventing, treating, and understanding various respiratory infections. The book covers six common respiratory infections: colds, influenza, sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and pneumonia, providing readers with prevention and treatment plans tailored to each. Dr. Schachter also delves into the stages of a cold and offers tips to reduce the risk of catching one.

Throughout the book, Dr. Schachter addresses common remedies and treatments for these illnesses, including well-known options like Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea, discussing the conflicting research surrounding them. Additionally, the book explores pneumonia in detail, highlighting the different types and effective prevention techniques.

Dr. Schachter’s book goes beyond medical advice, offering practical tips such as why humming for five seconds a day can reduce the risk of sinus problems.

The book concludes with a Q&A section, drawing on Dr. Schachter’s extensive experience in chest medicine to address common questions and concerns related to respiratory infections.

In an updated edition, the book provides practical strategies for preventing, treating, and recovering from COVID-19. Overall, The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu is a valuable resource for individuals seeking to better understand and manage respiratory infections for themselves and their families.

Table of contents

  • Chapter 1: Welcome to the Cold Wars
  • Chapter 2: The Scene of the Crime
  • Chapter 3: Treatment – The Right Choice at the Right Time
  • Chapter 4: Colds 101
  • Chapter 5: Sinusitis – The Cold That Lingers
  • Chapter 6: Bronchitis – When a Cough is More Than a Cough
  • Chapter 7: Strep Throat – When It Even Hurts to Swallow
  • Chapter 8: Pneumonia – When a Cold Turns Serious
  • Chapter 9: Influenza – The Cold’s Evil Twin
  • Chapter 10: The Sneezing Years – Colds and Flu in Childhood
  • Chapter 11: Individual Needs, Individual Solutions
  • Chapter 12: Common Questions and Answers
  • Acknowledgments
  • Searchable Terms
  • About the Author
  • Copyright
  • About the Publisher

Three key takeaways from The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu

1By adopting a holistic approach to health, respiratory infections can be prevented and managed

The book provides comprehensive guidance on symptoms, complications and treatment methods of the six most common respiratory infections. Cold is among those infections and here is how Neil Schachter suggests addressing this issue. First of all, the author outlines some typical, yet efficient, preventative measures. For example, frequent handwashing with soap and water has been proven to significantly reduce the spread of colds. Another tip is to avoid sharing pens or other personal items, as they can serve as carriers for cold viruses during the flu season. While there’s no cure for the common cold, the book provides valuable insights into symptom management, hydration, nutrition, and supplemental treatments like saline rinses and supplements such as zinc lozenges and vitamin C. Additionally, it underlines the importance of understanding when antibiotics may be necessary and the absence of vaccines or antiviral drugs for treating the common cold. By applying these preventive measures and effective symptom management strategies, readers can better navigate the challenges posed by this frequently encountered ailment in their daily lives.

2Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing bacterial pneumonia

One of the most vital takeaways from The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu is the importance of preventing bacterial pneumonia through vaccination. The book reveals that the most common form of bacterial pneumonia, caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, can be effectively prevented with a straightforward vaccine, typically administered once in a lifetime. This vaccine targets the coating of the pneumococcal organism, which renders it resistant to the body’s immune response, making it highly virulent. The book outlines two recommended vaccines by the CDC: PCV13 for children under two and individuals up to sixty-five with underlying health conditions, and PPSV23 for adults over sixty-five, those aged two to sixty-four with chronic health issues, and smokers aged nineteen to sixty-four. Both vaccines offer long-lasting protection, with an estimated efficacy of up to 70 per cent, and typically result in minimal side effects. Despite their effectiveness, the book raises concerns about low vaccination rates, particularly among those over sixty-five and smokers, emphasising the urgent need to bridge this gap in our defence against pneumonia and its potentially severe complications.

3Cold and flu are not the same: How to tell them apart

The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu offers valuable insights into differentiating between a common cold and influenza, shedding light on the crucial distinctions. The book underscores that colds primarily affect the upper respiratory system, leading to gradual symptom development, mild fever, and manageable discomfort. In contrast, influenza predominantly targets the lower respiratory system, causing abrupt onset of severe exhaustion and a debilitating, body-racking cough. While acknowledging exceptions, such as smokers and individuals with underlying lung issues experiencing severe cold symptoms, Schachter emphasises the significance of early flu recognition, particularly in those over sixty, to prevent severe complications. The book provides a practical framework, featuring three key questions based on symptom timing, seasonality, and severity, enabling readers to effectively distinguish between cold and flu manifestations.

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • Practical advice is supported by scientific explanations, ensuring reliability.

  • Offers practical understanding, advice, and actionable steps for managing various respiratory infections.

  • Written in accessible language and has a well-structured format.


  • Adding success stories of the author’s patients would make the book more relatable.

  • The book lacks coverage of healthy lifestyle choices, such as temperature exposure, sleep, and exercise, as preventative measures for colds and other ailments.

Best quotes from The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu

“Some experiments suggest that the stress of being cold and wet can lower your immunity and lead to a cold, but temperature alone is not a factor.”

“With colds, just about the safest contact is kissing, because few or no cold viruses are in saliva. Fluid from the nose or the eyes has virus. But simply kissing somebody will usually not spread the cold. How many times have people said to you, “I can’t kiss you because I have a cold”? Well, that’s not the problem.”

“Women experience an increased number of colds in the midpoint of their menstrual cycle. Doctors suspect that this is a time when immunity seems to drop.”

Final takeaway

The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu by Neil Schachter is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to enhance their understanding of, and ability to manage, respiratory infections. Dr. Schachter’s extensive medical background, including his role as a pulmonary medicine professor and medical director of the Respiratory Care Department at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, ensures that the book offers practical advice grounded in scientific explanations. Its accessibility and well-structured format make it suitable for a wide readership, including parents of young children dealing with frequent colds. This guide empowers readers with actionable steps for preventing, treating, and recovering from respiratory infections, making it an essential addition to any health-conscious individual’s library.

Where to buy

You may purchase a paperback edition of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu on Amazon at the best price.

Healthypedia FAQ

Absolutely. Dr. Neil Schachter, a professor of pulmonary medicine with an impressive portfolio of published articles, ensures the advice is not only practical but also grounded in scientific explanations, providing a reliable source for managing respiratory infections.

Yes, in an updated edition, the book provides practical strategies for preventing, treating, and recovering from COVID-19, making it a relevant resource for understanding and managing this respiratory infection.

Unfortunately, the book does not extensively cover healthy lifestyle choices, such as temperature exposure, sleep, and exercise, as preventative measures for colds and other ailments. It primarily focuses on remedies, treatments, and prevention methods related to respiratory infections.

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