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Patient Advocacy: A Success Story

This is a guest post from Dr. Steven Reznick.


Patient Advocacy: It’s Worth The Effort

I have a 61-year-old patient who has been seen in my practice for over thirty years. When she first started developing strange aches and pains as well as abdominal symptoms, her evaluation turned up nothing. At that point she was very active: Playing ball with her two growing sons and dancing the nights away wearing out dance partner after dance partner at community social functions.

When I could not determine the cause of her ills, I asked for help at reputable places including the University of Miami rheumatology division and gastroenterology division. Like so many illnesses, the disease remained a mystery until it was ready to show itself and until technology and progress developed diagnostic tools to allow us to see what is actually there. With the help of a brilliant local gastroenterologist and rheumatologist, and after trips to Johns Hopkins Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic, collagenous colitis and sarcoidosis were documented. In the interim, local medical doctors and her friends branded this poor woman as “another neurotic spouse of a doctor who liked narcotics.”

She developed a peripheral neuropathy, which meant her feet and legs hurt all the time with burning/shooting discomfort exacerbated by walking. She went from dancing the Lindy to hobbling with the assistance of her husband, and a cane from the bedroom to her kitchen. She would then have to sit down, massage her legs, and put on thick-cushioned sweat socks to tolerate the foot and leg discomfort. Read more »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

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I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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