Monday, May 21, 2007

Comment on 5/17 post

Dear Mooki,

Your poignant account (5/17) of a 6 week struggle to find out what was wrong with Toby mirrors my 4 month trial to get a diagnosis- ovarian cancer.

You are so generous in sharing your raw emotions, and humanity. You invite us into the heart of your family- I love the scene of Toby running back and forth, while Yoni is belting out, "If I were a rich man." You express yourself so well- it's no wonder Toby is so articulate!

The reason I'm writing this on the public blog is so everyone reading it will learn from you how we need to advocate for our own health. Dr, Jerome Groopman, author of "How Doctors Think" (March '07), has been interviewed on national TV. He feels that doctors often think inside the box, and make up their minds about the diagnosis in the first few minutes of the visit, especially now with time-limited appointments. He says, "Doctors frame patients all the time using shorthand, and fail to question their (own) assumptions." So, "Doctors desperately need patients and their families to help them think...How a doctor thinks can first be discerned by how he speaks and how he listens; how he asks questions and how he responds....Emotion can blur a doctor's ability to listen and think."

And if we don't get the answers we need by polite conversation, we may need to "scream', as you did, or at least, become firmly and persistently aggressive, as I did. Shalom!

Posted for Aunt Blanche

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