Who ever said you have to stay with the same doctor? I am always disappointed when I hear the stories that some people relate about how they sat and told their doctor this and that and that he/she didn't listen, didn't know what to do, didn't care, etc. Makes me sad of course, because I know how easy it is to just listen and look people in the eyes when they ...

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by Toni Bigby Lately there has been a lot of conversation around patient empowerment – an ambiguous term, but one that is fodder for many conversations across the health care industry. Patient empowerment – to put it simply – is about providing the necessary tools and information to a patient so that he or she can take a more active and involved position in his or her health ...

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Though I’ve spoken about breast cancer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure (emphasizing the importance of early screening and detection), until recently I had never had a mammogram. In my training I’d been taught that mammograms weren’t that accurate or useful in women under 40 (our health system’s protocols reflect that), so I got regularly checked by my physician whenever I had a physical and otherwise was waiting until ...

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I understand the frustration and anger in CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen’s new book, The Empowered Patient.  I agree that all of the horrible patient stories should have never occurred.  As a practicing primary care doctor who has witnessed near misses and bad medical outcomes affect family members, I too wrote a book encouraging patients to be informed and engaged about their care. The problem is that The Empowered ...

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More Americans are overweight and out of shape than ever before.  Their sedentary, high-calorie lifestyles are causing an epidemic of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and degenerative arthritis among other preventable conditions.  If those aren't bad enough, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle also raise the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and other common forms of cancer. Doctors all across the nation are struggling to treat these lifestyle-induced conditions with ...

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Well, it happened again. Recently, I was somewhere over Saskatchewan, returning from a lovely Mediterranean cruise, in that uncomfortable semi-conscious state that passes for sleep when you’re flying coach, when the airplane’s PA system rang out: “If there’s a doctor on board, please ring your call button!” If you’re old enough to remember the show “To Tell the Truth,” you know what happened next. In the show, four B-list celebrity ...

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by Daphne Swancutt Call it a silly, useless curse. I get sucked in to trying to find patterns and connections anywhere I can. Most of them are silly and useless. Occasionally I find ones that actually make some sense, if only to me. As a healthcare marketer who also geeks out on reform, genetics and the e-patient movement, I can’t help but try to wrap healthcare up into ...

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An excerpt from Treat Me, Not My Age: A Doctor’s Guide to Getting the Best Care as You or a Loved One Gets Older. by Mark Lachs, MD The bathroom: This is the most dangerous place in the home, what with hard surfaces, water that makes floors slippery, nothing but your birthday suit between you and the tile and tub, and, to top it all off, poor ...

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In the months since the Haitian earthquake, psychologists from around the world have been traveling to the island, hoping to help a population in shock and at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder. Many are veterans of crises such as Hurricane Katrina, and have extensive experience responding to disasters. But Dr. Guerda Nicolas, a Haitian-born researcher who has conducted landmark studies examining how Haitians experience depression and cope with disasters, has a ...

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It’s a simple question, but it has stirred some controversy.  It’s the word “friendly.” Colleague and fellow passionate advocate Bart Windrum got (as my mother would say) his blood in a bubble after reading an article about engaging a patient advocate to help you navigate your healthcare, published in a Tampa newspaper. In a list of tips about how to advocate for someone else, one tip said, “In ...

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