It was 13 years ago that I was diagnosed with leukemia. At that time I had a wife and two children: a boy, 6, and a girl, 2. Later, with a "green light" from my doctor, we chose to have a third child. I have previously written about how to tell your spouse, children, and co-workers about your diagnosis. But this time I wanted to share not my perspective, but rather, one of theirs. I was very much touched this past weekend when I received a solicitation letter from my eldest child, Ari. He's the 6-year-old who is now 19...

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This past week there has been swirling comment about bonuses on Wall Street, and my suburban Connecticut friends have been telling me about AIG neighbors who are feeling alternately angry, insecure, or shamed. I agree the system of bonuses was all wrong and that Wall Street types have to get connected to the real world the rest of us live in. And yes, I think a lot of these people who work or worked at companies virtually "owned" by us taxpayers should give the money back. I understand investment bankers and others are under pressure to make millions for investors...

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I am a big "real people" kinda guy. Even though I have two journalism degrees, one from UNC-Chapel Hill and one from Columbia, I objected a little to the old model of journalism where it was populated by staff writers and a "real person" was lucky if they could get their "15 minutes of fame" being quoted in an article or having a letter to the editor published. That whole model of "I am the reporter and you're not" has been turned on its head in the past year or two. Today was another sign of an end of an...

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The Personal Story Behind A Top Physician from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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I attended a funeral today. Ralph Goodman, former hospitality industry star, father of two young women, and devoted husband. Ralph died the other day in a Seattle suburb after a two year battle with inoperable brain cancer. I did not know Ralph well before his illness and I do not know his wife or children. However, Ralph reached out to me, a leukemia survivor and fellow member of his synagogue, after he received his diagnosis. We met for lunch, talked often by phone, traded emails, and spent an afternoon together at his home several weeks ago when Ralph wanted to...

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Virtual Medicine from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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This year more than $100 BILLION dollars will be spent in the U.S. on high tech medical scans like MRI, CT, and PET. Unfortunately, new studies show up to 50 percent of the scans should never have been done because the results didn't help with diagnoses or treatments. We have said time and again on Patient Power webcasts that there are significant players on your medical team you may not even think about. A key one would be the radiologist, even the radiology technician. It's up to the technician – hopefully using the most modern equipment – to produce a...

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There are two items in the news this week that caught my attention. One talks about the use of over a billion dollars from the new Federal Government stimulus package to assess which widely used medical treatments are really best (NYT 2/16/09, "US to Study Effectiveness of Treatments"). The second announces how, Zagat, the prestigious service that rates high end restaurants is now rating doctors according to input from their patients (NYT 2/16/09, "Noted Rater of Restaurants Brings Its Touch to Medicine"). Ok, let's digest this for a minute. First about the evaluation of treatments: Obviously the drug and medical...

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Stimulus Plan & Rating Doctors from Patient Power® on Vimeo.Andrew's V-Blog (02/16/09)

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We could have predicted it. Naysayers who say that now there are three approved prescriptions medicines for fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, marketing is fueling hype – hype about a condition some people say is all in a patient's head. Here we go again. The drug companies are always an easy target. When a drug is a success it can bring in more than a billion dollars a year. Treatments are costly and many people, including millions with no insurance or who are underinsured, struggle to pay for them. So the pharmaceutical industry continues to have a public relations problem....

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March 2009
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