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In this Patient Power Program, host Andrew Schorr is joined by two remarkable doctors who were inspired by their patients to write a book, The Man With the Iron Tattoo: What Our Patients Have Taught Us About Love, Faith and Healing. The book channels the many lessons learned from patients in their practice. Joining the episode is Dr. Lawrence Levitt, senior consultant in Neurology Emeritus and founder of the Neurology Division at Lehigh Valley Hospital. He is regarded as one of key players in his field. Also joining the discussion is Dr. John Castaldo, chief of the Neurology Division and Head of the Stroke Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

The discussion focuses on their book, which presents inspirational stories that illustrate the complex and intimate relationships between doctor and patient. Dr. Castaldo and Dr. Levitt weave fascinating and touching lessons on healing, patience and hope. The doctors have discovered that when they became more involved, sensitive and responsive to their patients’ needs, amazing things happened. Listen to Dr. Castaldo and Dr. Levitt share inspiring patient stories and journeys. Find out why these experts are hoping to end estrangement between patient and doctor by getting back to the root of patient care and how listening has made them better clinicians.

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Transcript

Andrew Schorr:

Hello and thanks for being with us once again on Patient Power. Andrew Schorr here broadcasting from kind of partly cloudy Seattle. We had really warm weather a couple of weeks ago, and now it's been kind of cool. And I joke with our producer, Ron, about the weather that rain makes the flowers grow and we've had a little, but now it will get nicer. Hopefully it's great where you are.

Baseball report really quickly. So I'm on the West Coast. I'm an American League kind ever guy. And we have interleague play, if you follow baseball right now. So the hottest team in the National League is the San Diego Padres. Their big baseball park is Petco Field, big, beautiful, new baseball park. Well, the Seattle Mariners, my team, went there and swept them three games, three come from behind games. I think the third one was come from behind too. So we're not too popular in San Diego right now. I'm not going to show my face with my Seattle Mariners hat. Anyway hopefully your team is winning or whatever sport or activity you're into.

And as we've talked about so many times on Patient Power, we're all patients. And you if go to the doctor nowadays you kind of feel like there's a stopwatch going somewhere. It may not be the doctor's own stopwatch, but maybe it's the clinic manager's, maybe it's the nurse, maybe the receptionist. It's a busy place, and if you kept up with the whole health insurance kind of thing you know that the insurance companies have put the squeeze and the government too on how much they pay the doctors. So the doctor is trying to support their families, often have to see more patients now than they used to even in less time. So there's not a lot of time to chat, and there's not a lot of time to just say how are you, beyond that health complaint.

So that's frustrating us as patients. Well, you know, that's frustrating to doctors too, and so very experienced neurologists in the Pennsylvania area got together and they wrote a book that talks about that in part but also about what they've learned from patients. And the whole spirit and the interaction and the communication, they can give us a lot of advice for that. So I know we have with us one neurologist, Dr. Lawrence Levitt. Dr. Levitt, welcome. You're with us, right?

Dr. Levitt:

I'm with you, and I thank you for the opportunity.

Andrew Schorr:

Thank you. And you know word has it from my producer that maybe we've got another neurologist, Dr. John Castaldo. Are you with us too, Dr. Castaldo?

Dr. Castaldo:

I'm here. Good to be here.

Andrew Schorr:

Yay. Thank you for being with us. I know you have some things going on with your wife today but thank you so much for being with us. You gentlemen have come together after many years being in neurology at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania. And help me because I'm a West Coast guy, where is Lehigh Valley Hospital, Dr. Castaldo? Where is it located exactly?

Dr. Castaldo:

We're in eastern Pennsylvania not too far from the New Jersey border. We're about an hour north of Philadelphia, and we're about an hour and a half west of New York City.

Andrew Schorr:

Now, you're the chief of the division of neurology there, and I know, Dr. Levitt, you helped set up the neurology department there, right, Dr. Levitt?

Dr. Levitt:

That's correct.

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