Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Giving Thanks To Fellow Patients Contributing To Medical Progress

First, to our U.S. visitors – Happy Thanksgiving! To our friends around the world, we send all the best to you too!

This tends to be a time of reflection so I am heavy into that right now. First, as a 15-year-leukemia survivor, I am thankful every day I can live a full life. And, as the founder of Patient Power, I am thankful to you for visiting our site, listening to and watching our programs, and for telling us that, for the most part, we are making a positive difference in your life or that of a loved one as you seek better health. Quite frankly, I am thrilled when I read the comments you make in our surveys and your feedback propels all of us to do more.

Alana Welm, Ph.D., The Huntsman Cancer Institute

I also want to send a special “shout out” to patients who fuel medical progress. These are the people who volunteer to be in clinical trials. Having participated in two, I know one can sign all the papers while also feeling a mixture of fear and hope. Fortunately the phase II trial I participated for my CLL leukemia in 2000-2001 seems to have worked as I remain in deep remission and get to do my work for you. A second trial, to lower the risk of clots in one’s legs, is my latest adventure and that seems to be working too. But I am just one out of thousands of people who volunteer to be in clinical trials, and we owe each of them a debt of thanks. Researchers often tell me they are thankful for all the patients who team with them to answer important scientific questions. Without this teamwork, we’d have no medical progress.

I also want to thank the researchers themselves. They toil in labs in buildings we never see or just speed past. Over long days and many years they devote themselves to curing diseases or knocking them back. They are people like Alana Welm, PhD, at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. The other day I did one of our new Skype interviews with her. Alana and her team have found a new way to use mice in the lab to help predict where a woman’s breast cancer might spread. And they are probing why it is that one woman’s cancer will spread and another woman’s will not. They, like others, are also trying to figure out which drugs are of benefit and for whom. She explains this in the interview and it gave me an opportunity, on behalf of all of us, to thank her. For me this was being a surrogate for thanking all researchers who set the foundation for saving and improving our lives.

Here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you may be. May you have the best of health and share thankful moments with people you care about!

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

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

Comments are closed.

Return to article »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

See all book reviews »