You may recall, I have a beef with Madison Avenue ad agencies that keep serving up the same New York actors in television commercials for different illnesses. I take it personally. The woman with cancer also has asthma. The man with arthritis also has erectile dysfunction. I feel bad for them! Last night the quest by an actor to find work got ridiculous for me as my wife, Esther, and I were watching one of our favorite shows, “Criminal Minds," on CBS. It was a particularly violent episode where a Bonnie and Clyde-type couple shot their way across Montana and...

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When I was diagnosed with leukemia my daughter, Ruthie, was just two and a half. She has vague memories of our household being turned upside down with worried, hushed conversations and friends and relatives calling A LOT. Because a leading specialist, Dr. Michael Keating from MD Anderson Cancer Center, advised against having treatment right away (something better was coming along), I did not have treatment for more than four years. By then Ruthie was seven. She has vivid memories then of me going off to Houston, accompanied by her mom, for a week of initial treatment and then successive weeks...

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People generally have a sense there might be information on the Web that can help them when they are worried about their health. They also have a sense there is a LOT of information and some of it may be wrong. All of that is true. What is a strategy to find the good and avoid the bad? This morning, I chatted with Mike Collins, host of “Charlotte Talks” on WFAE, public radio in Charlotte, North Carolina about The Web-Savvy Patient and some of my “Insider Tips” within. We talked at length about how you can get started looking for...

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Andrew Schorr explains it is not enough to be listed as a organ donor on your driver’s license. He urges you to play a role in ending the shortage of donated organs.

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I have never met the famous television interviewer Barbara Walters. I have never met actress and comedienne Whoopi Goldberg, or personalities Sherri Shepherd, or Joy Behar, or Elisabeth Hasselbeck. But I will – next Monday, May 2nd. That’s because I have been invited to be a guest on the popular daily daytime television talk show The View. For a few minutes next week, I’ll be there with the ladies to talk about my new book: The Web-Savvy Patient: An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis. I’ll briefly get to tell how I believe how connecting with...

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Imagine you’re a pharmaceutical company product manager and your specific product helps people with a chronic illness, or a cancer that can be managed by taking a pill or an injectable medicine over many years. You want to be part of the dialogue patients have with each other. You want to be part of the community. Facebook users, and other social media participants, are increasingly forming groups around health conditions, big and small. You want to be there, because, after all, your company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars developing the approved drug and hopes this medicine, and perhaps...

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It is happening several times a day now. The phone rings. I get stopped at Starbucks, or at the dog park, or at the supermarket. “My friend may have a brain tumor,” “I have been short of breath,” “I am tired all the time.”  Then come the questions: “What do you think I should do? Who should I see?”  I am not a doctor, but people are increasingly looking to me as if I were one. It’s a little daunting. As you may know, I’ve been producing and/or hosting programs on medical topics for patients since the mid 1980’s. First...

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How is it that a person with an illness forgets to take their medicine, or refuses to get a treatment, or forgoes important monitoring? I’ve been thinking about that because someone close to me has hit that “medical fatigue” wall. There has been no effective treatment for their digestive system illness and they are tired of the prods, pokes, and special exams. They just want to live their life and “cope.” One can understand – especially in a child or teenager. Imagine someone with diabetes. Diet, exercise, monitoring, medication. It can be so tiring. If only the illness – the...

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I was thinking this past weekend about the death of former congresswoman and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. She passed on from multiple myeloma which she had been fighting for about 12 years. During that time, as noted in our many programs on the subject, there has been tremendous progress in knocking back the disease. People are living longer and better and I am pretty sure the doctors at Massachusetts General brought the latest to bear for Ms. Ferraro. Of course, that’s one of the premier academic medical centers in the world – staffed by Harvard physicians. Not everyone has...

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If you follow me regularly, you know I enjoy watching the Fox television drama House M.D. on Monday nights (although I often watch the recording later in the week). Doctor Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) is a sorry character but a terrific diagnostician.  In almost every episode someone is on the brink of death from an elusive illness when House’s “light bulb” goes on and, in a flash, he saves the patient’s life by proving himself to being the world’s best medical detective. Dr. Lisa Sanders is watching 3,000 miles away in New Haven, Connecticut where she teaches first and second...

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