About 10 days ago I appeared in Phoenix as a speaker at a regional education seminar put on by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My topic was sharing my experience as a participant in a clinical trial. I was delighted to do that as I feel that trial saved my life and restored me to good health. I am hoping my words encouraged others to consider being in a trial. There are no guarantees of the result, but trials are always worth considering. Unfortunately, few patients do. That may limit their choices and certainly holds back research that could help...

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I am just back from Phoenix where I spent the weekend with people living with CML, chronic myelogenous leukemia. The operative words are “living with” because it wasn’t very long ago when people did not live long with this disease. However, medical science and dedicated researchers like Dr. Brian Druker at OHSU in Portland, Oregon have brought us what first appear to be “miracle” pills (Gleevec, Sprycel, and Tasigna)that can keep patients alive and doing well. My weekend was spent with several people, all taking one of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor drugs, as they were planning next steps for a...

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In 1984 when I produced my first program for patients – a video about erectile dysfunction which won a top award from the American Medical Writer’s Association – hardly anyone else was doing medical programs that weren’t for doctors. Over the years many more companies and advocacy groups have developed content for healthcare consumers. Today it is a crowded field. Because of that I thought it was time to restate why we do what we do in the hope that Patient Power can be better understood as a unique resource. To be clear, the only thing that motivates us is...

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Nobody is in the hospital these days feeling good. Regulations have made it so sick people are hospitalized and not-so-sick people are usually outpatients. People who are horizontal are there to have procedures, take heavy duty meds, rest and, hopefully, get better. Hospitals have increasingly put in sophisticated television systems so you can be in bed and distracted and entertained. But that is not restful for everyone. Here’s an example from this past weekend that stands out: Mark Dantonio, the coach of the Big Ten’s Michigan State Spartan college football team, was diagnosed with a heart attack right after last...

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Andrew takes you behind the scenes of what health information people are searching for online, and how we know. Popular Health Search: Your Doctor’s Name from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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I have observed him from afar for 40 years while we’ve shared some common experiences. Can a third one have a happy ending? To my mind, George Karl, veteran NBA basketball coach is a winner. He’s tenacious. I saw that in him when, in the early ’70’s, he played basketball in college at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when I was a student there too. Those were the glory years of bigger than life coach Dean Smith and George was one of his recruits. George didn’t disappoint then as the team played in the Final Four and...

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The old joke about psychological therapists is they are among the biggest consumers of therapy themselves. Lately, I have been noticing more and more how a significant portion of the people we meet wearing white lab coats have a very personal connection to the medical work they do. For them it is not a job, a meal ticket, or just putting their years of training into practice, it is a mission connected to something in their past, something in their own body, or the health of a loved one. A recent example is Kaiten Kormanik. She is 23 and has...

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I have a lofty position. No, I am not an ego maniac. I am talking about my perch in the announcer’s booth at “The Jungle,” Mercer Island, Washington’s high school football stadium. That’s where I spend a few hours on some Saturday afternoons this fall “calling” the games that my 13-year-old son, Eitan, plays in. Standing by my side is Dr. Paul Manner, prominent knee surgeon and occasional team physician for the kids down below. Last week Paul had to run down to the sidelines a few times. Crash, #64 was dazed. Slam, this time it’s #77. Paul was there...

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In recent years advertising agencies and public relations firms, many of them small shops run by dedicated communications entrepreneurs, have been gobbled up by marketing communications behemoths. These are the global conglomerates that work day and night to win you and me over as friends and customers. They want us to think positively about their clients and take actions that will boost their clients’ interests. That’s all fair. But I am sad to report how far we’ve come from the old days when public relations people, then called “press agents,” worried more about getting their clients name in the paper...

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Yes, I know my readers mostly care about what I have to say about specific health concerns and the stories of memorable patients and providers I meet along the way. But I also enjoy telling you about stories that impact our ability to do what we do for you. And I have an amusing one now. It will give you a window into the world of big banks, small business, and how we struggle to get funding to do more for patients online. First, the story of why we need money – beyond the obvious: It starts with my passion...

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