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My Mission

Helping Others through the Synergy of Science and Caring
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« Money Against Compassion | Main | Emotions After Cancer »

July 21, 2010


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Steve Cochran

Hi, Wendy,

So true. Doctors in today’s healthcare world of accelerated medical research and technological advances can't even begin to stay current with the various specialty practice areas…it’s just not humanly possible. That being the case, it also presents additional challenges for the patient in terms of deciding how to orchestrate their resources to achieve optimal care.

For example, I’ve recently found myself educating my hemonc on bone density tests and measurements, while in turn educating my endocrinologist on multiple myeloma, (MM). Additionally, I find my PCP is not that that well versed on either area but is humble enough to admit it. Consequently much of my last visit was spent bringing my PCP up the curve on the diagnosis and treatment of MM.

So, I completely understand these challenges for healthcare providers, at all levels of the healthcare delivery system, and I can only hope that they in turn appreciate the challenges that this accelerating complexity presents for their patients.

We enjoy your blog...keep up the good work!



Mrs. Jackie Swenson

The best doctors I've had are my neurosurgeon and my neurologist. The neurologist insisted on my getting the best neurosurgeon while my then family doctor (already fired (switched)one) was insisting that the In-network surgeon 'is also a good doctor'.

My neurosurgeon toiled 23 hours straight to resect my huge brain tumor (4x5x6.5cm) in the r. lateral ventricle. After physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, I came out in 'one piece' and was regarded to be a 'miracle'.

But my first brain tumor wasn't diagnosed/treated until 7 months after I was reporting symptoms. My breast cancer recurrence was not found by either mammogram or physical exam for 4 years straight (they saw 'shadows' and just took it as 'scar tissue' - without mentioning it to me)

All my doctors are very good physicians. It's just hard sometimes for them to figure out things when the culprit was masked by symptoms that were very much the same as the ones a 'crazy' woman might have: Depression (nobody believed that I was sick physically), headaches (who could have suspected a 'brain tumor'?), or cervical vetebrae degeneration (caused vertigo and sent me to the ER several times.)

What most family doctors need is to train their patients well and really listen to them. Just because I was crying hysterically doesn't mean I needed to see a counselor. (I had to ask the conselor to change the 'diagnosis' on the chart from 'no problem' to 'slightly depressed' because I could save $60.00 copayment...

It's really hard to be the 'healer'. I solute all the physicians who sacrifice their lives every day(doctors have one of the shortest life expectancy)to help save their patients.

Thank you, doctors.

Wendy Harpham, M.D.

Thank you.

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