Sometimes you need a published study to tell you what should be obvious in the first place.
This time, researchers have discovered that:
When physicians have more personalized discussions with their patients and encourage them to take a more active role in their health, both doctor and patient have more confidence that they reached a correct diagnosis and a good strategy to improve the patient’s health.
But wait, there’s more. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at See First Blog*
Dr. Barron Lerner has written a book about breast cancer: “The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear, and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America.” And he’s written a book about celebrity patients: “When Illness Goes Public: Celebrity Patients and How We Look at Medicine.” He wed the two topics in a blog post on the New York Times health blog entitled “Suzanne Somers, Cancer Expert.” Excerpts:
“Earlier this week, NBC’s “Dateline” devoted an entire hour on Sunday evening to allow the actress Suzanne Somers to express her rather unconventional beliefs about cancer.
It is not the first time a major media outlet has given air time to Ms. Somers, whose journey into the medical realm has been featured on a variety of news programs, talk shows and entertainment channels. A few years ago, Oprah Winfrey invited Ms. Somers on her show to share the secrets behind her youthful appearance — a complex regimen of unregulated hormone creams and some 60 vitamins and supplements.
But is it entirely outrageous that respected media organizations continue to give the “Three’s Company” sitcom star a platform to dispense medical advice? Not really, in a world in which celebrities have become among the most recognizable spokespeople — and sometimes experts — about various diseases.
…patients — especially those who want to explore every possible avenue — have the right to know that there are unorthodox cancer therapies that some people believe are helpful.
But not without several caveats, and that is where Ms. Somers, and many of those in the media who discuss her books and views, have failed. Ms. Somers says she is promoting hope, but false hope benefits no one.
Many people with end-stage cancer are, understandably, desperate, and thus potentially vulnerable to a sales pitch — even an expensive one. But here is a case when an informed patient may truly be a wiser patient. Perhaps if doctors were more willing to address the fact that these nontraditional treatments exist, and share what we do and don’t know about their effectiveness, an actress like Ms. Somers would have less influence, and science would override celebrity.”
There’s been quite an online response to Dr. Lerner’s blog post. One reader wrote, succinctly:
“From Thigh Master to Snake Oil.”
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
This is a guest post from Dr. Anita Gupta.
How To Have A Pain-Free Hospital Stay
Too often patients feel like they’re in the passenger seat when entering the hospital. Even in the best of circumstances — such as planned admissions — patients often don’t feel in control of their own care.
One of the most unnecessary issues facing patients when they enter the hospital is untreated (or undertreated) pain. Often the focus of the medical team is to treat a condition, and controlling a patient’s pain comes second. Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be the situation. Here are a few tips for patients to ensure that their pain does not go overlooked:
– Let someone know if you are in pain. This may seem obvious, but patients often hesitate to question their doctor. Pain control during your hospital stay is not a luxury, and you need to know you have a right to pain control during your stay. If you doctor or nurse is not answering your questions regarding pain, ask to see pain specialist who will likely address your concerns as well as the concerns of the doctors and nurses taking care of you. Unfortunately when it comes to treating pain, not all doctors are trained equally.
– Have a family member or good friend to act as your advocate. Have this individual get involved in your medical care and act on your behalf during your hospitalization. Read more »
Say the words, “Patient-centered medical home,” and you’re bound to get a variety of opinions.
On this blog alone, there are a variety of guest pieces critical of the effort, saying it does not increase patient satisfaction, nor does it save money. And that’s not good news for its advocates, who are pinning primary care’s last hopes on the model.
Medical homes hit the mainstream media recently, with Pauline Chen focusing one of her recent, weekly New York Times columns to the issue. She discussed the results of a demonstration project, showing some positive results. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*