Dear medical professionals: We need to talk. I know I walk into your office fearing the worst of you, and I suspect that you may have some hesitation about some of your patients. (Need I say, "frequent flyers?") We both have baggage. You have your patient horror stories. I -- as a female patient with fibromyalgia and mental health issues -- have mine. My mom is a nurse, so I've grown up with ...

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11045478_742642892507962_670861048466897224_n I can’t tell you how many people have flung this Facebook item at me since last night, starting with my wife. It’s already approaching 25,000 shares. Listen, people: Googling does not mean I think I’m a doctor. It’s a sign of being an engaged, empowered “e-patient.” I partner with great doctors -- I don’t tell them what to do. And they welcome me doing it. I personally am completely ...

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I was attending a 50th birthday party for a friend of mine, when I struck up a conversation with someone I had never met. The conversation, of course, was with a woman who seemed genuinely interested in my quest to make air travel safer for those with food allergies. I told her how my family often receives dirty looks from other passengers when we pre-board a plane to wipe down ...

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Here’s the most distressing piece of unsolicited advice I’ve received to date. It showed up in my Inbox two days after I’d completed a course of radiation for breast cancer. The email was in response to an article I’d written about this new, unexpected turn my life had taken; the article included the fact that, at the time, I was in the middle of a course of radiation treatment. Here’s ...

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An excerpt from How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide. Copyright 2015 by Toni Bernhard. Excerpted with permission from Wisdom Publications. "Freedom is instantaneous the moment we accept the way things are." - Karen Maezen Miller A well-known Buddhist story known as the Mustard Seed helped me ...

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An excerpt from How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide. Copyright 2015 by Toni Bernhard. Excerpted with permission from Wisdom Publications. "Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were." - Marcel Proust For the most part, I’ve adjusted to my new ...

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“Don't ever land in a teaching hospital on a holiday weekend, they always staff up with residents," noted a close friend who was all too familiar with the inner workings of hospitals. That statement sticks in my head heavily today as I prepare to visit my father’s year-old grave.  My father, a man that was involved in the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and private sector research societies for decades, ...

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Have you ever been a patient? Yeah, me too. Many newly insured Americans will visit doctors’ offices this year. The average time you -- or anyone -- has with a primary care provider is 15 minutes. What’s a sick person to do? Happier patients make happier doctors. Here’s a helpful list that I’ve developed to help patient visits go smoother: 1. Pick three questions or concerns that you have for your doctor and write ...

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shutterstock_85837342 I thank God every day that a doctor had the audacity to say to me, “You are going to have to learn to live with this.” I was 21. Newly married. And covered, from head to toe, in a burning, painful, itchy rash. I was sitting on a table, decked in a gown, with my husband in a chair by my side. I was ...

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shutterstock_73029814 Ask anyone connected with health care these days to provide a definition for patient engagement and you will likely receive as many answers as there are agendas surrounding the discipline. While patient engagement has evolved as a critical strategy in support of the ultimate goal of creating improved health for a total population, you would think that a mandate for a unified ...

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