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Dr. Charles Smith: “How To Become A More Effective e-Patient” (And Clinician)

Well, here’s a treat: Dr. Charles Smith, a founder of the Society for Participatory Medicine, recently gave a lecture at Duke entitled, “How to Become a More Effective e-Patient.” Here it is, in four video segments.

“Charlie” (as we all call him) is a wonderful guy. He’s co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Participatory Medicine and was Doc Tom Ferguson’s physician. He’s been walking this walk for many years, and here he shares his personal advice –- not just for patients, but for health professionals who want to learn this participatory thing.

(The “Joe & Terry” he mentions are our founders Joe and Terry Graedon of People’s Pharmacy, longtime Duke associates.)


An audio-only version is also available (see below). Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

More On The False Claims Of A Cancer Researcher At Duke

This is not good. Not good at all.

Recently Paul Goldberg of The Cancer Letter reported on an investigation into Duke cancer researcher Anil Potti, M.D., and claims made that he was a Rhodes Scholar in Australia. The misrepresentation was made on grant applications to National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The Cancer Letter, a $375 per year go-to newsletter on cancer research, funding, and drug development, has made this issue free at this PDF link.

News & Observer higher education reporter Eric Ferreri has a nice overview of the situation. Potti has been placed on administrative leave by Duke, and the ACS has suspended payments on his grant and initiated their own investigation. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*

Breast Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment: Can Women Trust It?

The news wasn’t good this week for women concerned about breast cancer.

First came the story that some women were diagnosed with breast cancer, very early stage, had treatment –- including disfiguring surgery -– and then found out they never had cancer in the first place. The pathologist goofed, maybe even a second pathologist also misread the biopsies.

How does this happen? Not surprisingly it comes back to the clinical experience of the doctor. Properly diagnosing breast cancer, whether through radiology scans or pathology biopsies is not always easy. And in many communities the general radiologists and pathologists just don’t have enough specialized experience. This leads to mistakes, especially when the suggestions of possible cancer are subtle and minute. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Andrew's Blog*

How To Deal With Unhappy Or Difficult Patients

There’s a nice article in the May issue of Plastic Surgery Practice that discusses how to deal with unhappy or difficult patients. No matter the area of medicine or surgery, you’re bound to have one or two of these patients over the years. It never hurts to learn or review tips in dealing with them.

In the article, Rima Bedevian interviews Julie Ann Woodward, M.D., chief of the oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery service at Duke University:

…how to successfully deal with them -– with compassion and humanity without allowing them to “run you over” or manipulate a difficult situation into a potentially litigious one.

Dr. Woodward provides a helpful checklist for doctors. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

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

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

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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