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From the desk of (12/1/07)…

Miscellany from the week, not requiring full posts on their own….fromthedeskof.gif

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My big news is ready to be sprung! Although, through today’s blog, I’ll announce it “softly” — a bigger announcement is in the works for this week.

You may be familiar with About.com — tens or hundreds of millions of visitors each month go there to learn about 600+ topics of interest ranging from Women’s Issues to Fishing to Poker to Fashion to Football — and now — patient empowerment!

Yes — as of yesterday afternoon, the new About.com Guide to Patient Empowerment was launched — and yours truly is the expert/guide. Take a stroll on over! Let me know what you think! Join the forum so we can chat! And if you ever want to touch base, just link on my name at the top — my email address is right there.

The web address is: http://patients.about.com Why not bookmark it or add it to your favorites?

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An interesting report on the Thursday evening NBC news about differences in the way African American women are diagnosed, treated, provided with preventive medicine, etc…. It actually strikes me as the next revelation in the fact that medical research just can’t be generalized. First we learn that women require different diagnosing and treatment from men for problems like heart disease. Then we’re told that children can’t take smaller doses of adult drugs because “children are not simply small adults.” And now we learn that genetic makeup related to skin color affects the success of diagnosis and treatment as well.

What others are we missing?

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Has anyone else noticed this? Everytime I turn around — for the past several weeks — there have been more ads for health insurance on the TV, in the newspaper. From those plans that “pay you back” to supplemental plans for Medicare…. they must be spending millions if not billions.

Wouldn’t our premiums be lower if they didn’t spend so much on advertising?

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Today is World AIDS Day and it seems there’s not much mention of it in the press. My cousin Tim has AIDS. Tim is in his 50s. As a younger man he was a vibrant and talented actor, appearing in everything from plays to a soap opera in England back in the 1970s. Now, in these later years, Tim is a slave to the medications that keep him alive and by his own estimation, he doesn’t feel like his life has much quality.

My thoughts and prayers are with Tim and others who suffer through such a horrible disease.

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From the Desk of (11/24/07)…

Some miscellany from the week, not requiring blog posts on their own….fromthedeskof.gif

Hope you all had a delightful Thanksgiving and that your leftovers are no longer left over.

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Another quiet week with the arrival of the holiday. I did hear from some folks I’ve not heard from in awhile, with atta-girls for my mention in the Wall Street Journal article this week. Among them, Dr. Allan Showalter who runs a very comprehensive and thought provoking website and blog about medical compliance. He says he’s looking forward to when I finally appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. (hey! me too! isn’t that every boomer’s fantasy? !!) Thanks, my Ozark-bound friend.

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Looks like Dr. Scott Haig has really riled some feathers — both patient-side and physician-side — with his Time/CNN articles about patients who google. Included is my soon-to-be About.com colleague (there’s a hint!) Mary Shoman whose blog was even cited in the New York Times. I posted about the article a week or so ago, and Mary and I see his post differently — but there are a couple of bottom lines to the question. The first one is that if we are to communicate well — patients and doctors — then we need to be able to understand the other’s point of view. And second, that I still believe Dr. Haig misdiagnosed himself. In fact, I don’t think it was so much the fact that his patient had used google to get information about her knee problem; instead, I think she was just obnoxious and honestly, I don’t blame him for not wanting to treat an obnoxious patient.

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My big news? Still on hold for the moment…. fully expect to announce it this week…. and I did give a hint above :-)

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From the desk of (11/12/07)….

Some miscellany from the week, not requiring blog posts on their own….

It’s actually been a quiet week. Many are prepping for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, no doubt.

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I received one dozen requests for help this week, and three others wrote to me with stories that make my toenails curl. I still have not been able to reply to them all, but will before the weekend is over. In some cases I can help them find someone who can help them. In others, I can only be a shoulder to lean on. Very sad, very frustrating… and a major confirmation that this kind of work and help is needed. I wish I could clone myself to keep up.

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I’ll be blogging this week about PHRs again (personal health records) — a new site I didn’t know about and one that has some very good information on it, but sucks its visitors into giving away way too much personal information. Watch for a post on Monday or Tuesday this week.

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We’re closer to my big announcement, too — very exciting — hope to make it happen this week!


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From the desk of (11/10/07)…

Some miscellany from the week, not requiring blog posts on their own….fromthedeskof.gif

Heard this week from a young man in Central New York State where I live. He’s a young adult cancer survivor and has begun a social network for other young adult cancer survivors, ages 18 to 40: http://yacscny.wordpress.com . If you are a young cancer survivor, log on and see what Daniel is up to….

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Veteran’s Day is coming up — a perfect opportunity to thank a veteran or member of the military service. Regardless of your politics, we owe a debt of gratitude to these fine men and women who have worked so hard to protect our freedom. One of those freedoms is to make our own healthcare decisions — an important one!

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And speaking of Veteran’s Day — my radio show tomorrow features an interview with Dr. Ross Moquin who retired as a commander after 25 years in the Navy. He is a surgeon who treats traumatic brain injury — fascinating conversation about the procedures that were developed while he was in the Navy, and how they are being used to help civilians now, including stroke victims. You can listen right on your computer by linking here.

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announcemt.jpgAn Every Patient’s Advocate milestone this week: hit the 30,000 visitor mark on this blog since January. If you’ve been a regular visitor, I thank you — and hope you feel as if you’ve learned something. If so, will you share by making a comment? I’d love to know what has — or has not — been helpful.

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… and stay tuned for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT soon! My reach is about to be extended big time — and you, my faithful readers will be among the first to know….

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Or link here to empower yourself at
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