I am on a Northern European cruise with my family and friends on Holland America's M.S. Rotterdam. This is my first time on a cruise since I was 7 years old and went with my parents on a small trip from New York City to Nassau. Things have changed a lot: casinos, variety shows, and an on board infirmary that rivals many emergency rooms. Coming up I will host a Patient Power hour long program on "Health and medicine" at sea. Today's situation presents an interesting point of discussion. We are at sea today – no ports of call –...

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I finally had a chance to see Michael Moore's new movie "Sicko." I saw it with my 17 year old son, Ari, a young man very interested in current affairs and social issues. The movie provided plenty to chew on. And it seemed, at first blush, to be well done. You may know there are people who love Michael Moore and his past movies about General Motors and big corporations versus the little guys or guns in America. Now he's shined a light on health insurance, briefly on how many hard working Americans don't have it, and mostly on the...

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Something is wrong, very wrong when there are almost unlimited resources committed for some Americans and very limited resources for others. I know what I am about to say may touch a nerve for some but I am putting it on the table to see what you think. The other evening I watched a television segment on 60 Minutes. Scott Pelley, the correspondent, went to Iraq to see the incredibly devoted care Army medical teams provide to battle-injured soldiers. They never give up in their efforts to save the life of a young person who has answered the call of...

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A few days ago I hosted a live webcast connecting cancer patients around the world who have Multiple Myeloma with two leading medical experts and a savvy patient. While that's satisfying, what made it even better was that this webcast came right at the conclusion of the meeting of world experts in that condition. And that happens only every two years. So before a leading doctor, nurse practitioner and patient-advocate flew home to the U.S. from the meeting in Greece they provided their perspectives on the latest myeloma news to patients waiting with baited breath to hear it. What's an...

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Yes, I know, there's a book by this title. No matter what, I struggle with the idea. Yesterday it hit me in the face. I put in a call to Ruth Ross, a Seattle insurance company sales representative, who will be a guest on my radio show Sunday. She won't be there to sell insurance but rather tell her story of fighting brain cancer – a large malignancy that was found last January on the left side of her brain. Ruth was upbeat yesterday. Surgery by our other guest, neurosurgeon Dr. Gregory Foltz, and follow-up chemotherapy and radiation has given...

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On my talk show Friday I featured Trisha Gura Ph.D. a Boston-based author of a neat new book: "Lying in Weight: The Hidden Epidemic of Eating Disorders in Adult Women." Not surprisingly, Trisha has fought eating disorders herself as a teenager and again as a adult. What was neat is that she is using her skill as a writer to speak out from a personal perspective and also add plenty of information from others about a condition that affects millions. Interestingly, Trisha has her advanced degree from Northwestern in molecular biology. But now she is using her smarts with a...

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This is getting to be a fun time as more voices can be heard inviting us to be "smarter patients." I've been at this a long time and it was great to have two neurologists (Dr. John Castaldo and Dr. Lawrence Leavitt from Leheigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, PA ) on my talk show who, in this time of high tech medicine, are urging doctors and patients to step back a minute and work on communicating and listening better to each other. They are also echoing what I say about the importance of the patient being at the center of...

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If you are a cancer patient, 29,000 people who could help save your life have been meeting in Chicago the past few days. It's the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology or ASCO. This is what I call the "World Series of Cancer" where everybody who is anybody shows up. Of course, I skipped it so I can host programs with those experts from the comfort of my studio in Seattle. Later this week we'll have a live program with Dr. Margaret Tempero from the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. She is a top expert...

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It's been a blur here at Patient Power as we produce 7-8 hours of new talk shows each week with some of the nation's most credible health and medical experts. And there are some recurring themes worth talking about. One is the idea of "personalized medicine " – identifying not just what disease or condition you have but the subtype, and then giving you a treatment for that subtype that might be different from what is offered to someone with the a little different version of the "same" diagnosis. The hope is that will lead to the use of medicines...

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I have been interviewing many authors lately. Sure I want to hear about their new book and some of the details of the content. But much more fascinating is WHY they wrote the book and how it changed them. And the discussion makes for some very compelling talk shows that I hope you will check out. Elizabeth Cockey, an art therapist from Baltimore, is a good example. A few years ago she was at a low point in her life: little money, and then an urgent call that her grown son was near suicide far from home. She rescued him...

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