Kathy Kastner: Thinking, Talking, Asking

Our good friend Kathy Kastner over at Ability4life.com has been trying to make sense out of doctor/patient communication for a long time. How often do people not take medication properly because they don’t understand the instructions? How often do patients simply forget what a doctor has said because they can’t listen as fast as a doctor can talk? Imagine how important sensitivity to communications needs to be when a highly educated doctor speaks to adults with 8th grade literacy, or immigrants with limited English, or seniors with failing memories, or teenagers with bursting libidos. Kathy’s been busy producing a series of videos and she describes the objectives in her own words: In between doctor’s appointments, we patients live our lives, and a ‘one size fits all’ rarely applies to daily health regimes. It’s in our own best interest to ensure we’ve negotiated a schedule we can follow. With my ‘think about it, talk about it, ask about it’ campaign I use real life examples to help kick start that process.

View Kathy’s Youtube Channel here http://www.youtube.com/user/kathykastner

Tweet #MyPS and Share Your Patient Story

#MyPS is “My Patient Story” on Twitter. And Patient Commando will share it.

Patient Commando is embarking on a mission to start something different. If you use Twitter, we want you to share your patient story. #MyPS – My Patient Story, is a way to surface the patient experience in 140 characters or less.

#MyPS tweets can be about anything related to the patient experience; An experience at the hospital, how you manage your medication, or even how you’re coping with a disease. Whether your a patient, caregiver or practitioner we want you to share with us and our growing community.

An Example:

Just add #MyPS to the tweets you want to share and Patient Commando will do the rest. Using Twitter, Facebook and a soon to launch website, Patient Commando will shine a light on your experience.

We aim to create a healthcare community supported, educated and inspired by the patient experience.  Your voice is the key.

Patient Commando & CYCLE4:National Relay

Toronto native and Queen’s University English major Aryssah Stankevitsch has a big goal.

“Two years ago at age nineteen I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since then, I have immersed myself in anything I could to raise awareness and funds for juvenile diabetes research. My main inspiration in life is to find a cure; when that day comes, I want to know that I was part of it and contributed. I’m prepared to bike, crawl, cart wheel across the country to do so”.

And on August 13, Aryssah did just that.  As a member of the CYCLE4:National Relay team, she kick started a journey across Canada, a distance of almost 7000 kilometres. Aryssah and the other CYCLE4:National Relay team members will be riding in pairs, symbolizing that great things are always accomplished in ‘tandem’ with others. The relay will wind up in the seaside town of Digby, Nova Scotia on Sunday September 4, 2011 welcomed by 50,000 people as part of the Wharf Rat Rally.

The CYCLE4:National Relay in its inaugural year as the legacy of Cyclebetes and Team H2V – both national cycling relays that began in September 2007. As a banner program of CYCLE4:Whatmatters, the National Relay allows all riders to raise funds to support the health issues and organizations that matter most [...] continue the story

Patient Commando responds to Dr. Zeichner’s post on KevinMD.com

Earlier this month KevinMD.com posted the following article by Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

The best defense against skin cancer is prevention. Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States, affecting more than 2 million Americans every year.  It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop a skin cancer in their lifetime.

There are three main types of skin cancer.  Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, which can be fatal if not treated early.   While melanoma accounts for a very small percentage of skin cancers, it is responsible for the majority of skin cancer related deaths.  Survival of patients with melanoma is directly correlated to the size of the cancer.  If the spot is detected early, before it has spread from the skin, more than 90% of patients will be cured.  This drops to approximately 15% once the cancer has spread.  The number of new cases of melanoma is rising faster than most of the other internal types of cancer, so public education is of the utmost importance.

The other two common skin cancers are collectively known a non-melanoma skin cancer.  The most common skin cancer in [...] continue the story

I don’t trust my GP to manage my cancer follow-up | Globe and Mail Q&A

The question: I’m in treatment for early-stage breast cancer. When it’s done, I’ll be sent to my general practitioner, whom I have little faith in. I’ve had excellent, patient-focused care from medical staff treating my cancer. Should I find a new doctor or stick with this one who, for better or worse, at least knows my history?

The answer: Given the background information you gave me on your GP – reluctant to order tests, not a good listener, dismissive – you are right to be concerned. I’ve seen how well oncologists advocate for their patients; your fondness for them is well placed.

A study published this year in the journal Current Oncology found that 87 per cent of early stage breast cancer patients surveyed in Ontario preferred to visit their cancer specialist for routine follow-up.

Like you, most cancer patients in Canada are sent back to their GPs. So long as a follow-up plan is in place, it’s the best way to provide good quality, cost-effective care.

Sandy Sehdev, a medical oncologist at William Osler Health System in Brampton, Ont., said cases such as yours can result from a patient feeling that the GP did not act rapidly on a lump. Other patients don’t [...] continue the story

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