I hope you've had a chance to enjoy our new home page and our new look. Our goal is to continually update our content and the clarity of our communication to help patients and family members get the most compelling, most authoritative health information for their area of concern. I am delighted to tell you that an expanding list of highly respected medical centers support Patient Power. The newest additions are UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. As a group, we all believe in putting the patient at the center of...

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Each Spring for the past four years I have made a 3-4 day trip to Arizona with my son, Ari, now 18, to be a baseball fan and attend Spring Training games. This year we saw three games at three different stadiums. Each time the look of the crowd was different and, unfortunately, the waistlines of the men got progressively bigger. I am worried about them. At the first game was the typical Seattle crowd – pretty active folks and not a lot of obesity. But game #2 the next day was in fashionable Scottsdale where San Francisco Giants fans...

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For many Americans we move in parallel but separate universes. In my case, as an American Jew who is fairly "assimilated" I feel right in the mainstream. But I remember how my parents and their parents mostly lived in Jewish neighborhoods and associated mostly with Jewish people. My grandparents spoke Yiddish, an eastern European Jewish dialect, in the home. But that's all family history. However, in 2008 Hispanic-Americans, 44 million people, cling to varying degrees to using Spanish as their first language. And when they face the complexities of medical issues many Hispanics who speak English prefer to hear information...

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I am ending my 3-year-old Sunday morning Seattle radio show. The last edition is this Sunday, March 9th. How come? • I realize I am at my core an "Internet Guy" and that is where I can reach patients seeking information most directly • This direct-to-patient approach makes the most sense for my sponsors – the nation's leading medical centers • Traditional media, like talk radio stations, don't "get it" about how big a thirst the public has for empowering medical information and a connection with the experts – including inspiring patients For all these reasons I have decided to...

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My son, Eitan, mentioned something in passing at the dinner table recently. As a 10-year-old he's always jabbering. This time I couldn't believe what I was hearing – the mother of a 5th grade classmate had died of cancer after only a three-week illness. I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. But the next day I found out it was true. The woman, I believe in her late 50's, had died of aggressive lung cancer. I had met her several times and she was likeable and very intelligent – a university professor. She leaves behind a husband and two...

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In these days of revved up medical marketing too many people think the answer to their health problem is in a single pill, medical procedure, or high tech diagnostic test. It isn't. That brings me to the "art" of medicine. After interviewing hundreds, maybe even thousands of devoted doctors and inspiring patients I am beginning to see some themes. There were some lessons just in the show I hosted on sleep problems this past Sunday. Charlene Barton, 62, of Seattle, told her story of years of restless leg syndrome (RLS) and sleep apnea. At different times and after suffering for...

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I am so proud of Patient Power producer Tamara Perkins for her outstanding work this past week in teeing me up to host a three-part series on medical fraud. They were great programs and I urge you to hear the replays. On our first program we delved into the murky world of health insurance fraud. With 47 million Americans with no insurance and many others who are under-insured you can bet there are many companies trying to offer services to fill the gap. You can see plenty of ads on CNN and other cable channels. The sad part is, among...

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Dear Dr. Gupta (Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent), I congratulate you and CNN on covering medical issues so frequently and often in-depth. There's much too little of this in the mainstream media. I am writing to offer a suggestion: please expand your coverage to include the patients' perspective where the patients and family members are the correspondents and not just supplying sound bites. This has become an age of healthcare consumerism and we, the consumer, need a daily voice on CNN just as much as you, the physician. Can you ask CNN President John Klein if he...

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I wanted to take you behind the scenes of Patient Power and, for that matter, journalism. Talk show hosts and journalists get deluged with press releases and emails from public relations people. They always have a client that wants exposure. Typically a good news release will pitch a guest where there's a good reason to feature them. But you'd be amazed the ridiculous pitches we receive and it's obvious the author never looked at our website to see what we do. Guess what? We disregard pitches from those PR people in the future because they have proved to be "clueless"...

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This is a heady time for our small team at Patient Power. For three years now we've been producing talk shows for Patients featuring leading medical experts and inspiring patients and caregivers. Apparently Microsoft was watching. And while bigger websites like WebMD or Revolution Health have paid us no attention, we've kept producing programs day-in and day-out. The smart people at Microsoft know we now have over 500 hours of programs covering a very wide range of important medical topics. In many cases we've covered topics no one else has because it doesn't matter to us whether it would be...

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March 2008
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