Former President Jimmy Carter, who is being treated for metastatic malignant melanoma, announced that a follow-up scan revealed that four brain metastases were gone. Several headlines described the president as being “cancer free,” a choice of words that must be interpreted with caution.
Craig R. Hildreth, MD
Oncologists, whether they like it or not, must develop some psychological skills if they ever hope to master the art of caring for people living with cancer.
The high cost of new cancer treatments is both ridiculous and unsustainable, but be careful when fighting “greed” by calls for regulation and price controls.
Without patients we have no mission to accomplish; whenever we lose someone to cancer our very identity as cancer fighters is threatened with extinction.
While chatting with a patient of mine this week, I suddenly realized I had forgotten how long it had been since she was diagnosed. Time moves strangely in the world of cancer, too slow to comfort us, too fast in spiriting us away.
When communicating with the difficult patient doctors are advised to avoid such approaches as snapping, bristling, or even a subtle curling of the lips.
This slide show features 8 ways oncologists can create value in cancer care, from building a great team of staff members to staying on top of the latest developments in your field.
Take a minute to recall those patients who showed up in the emergency room without your knowledge, or who died 1 week after starting a new treatment, or whom you neglected to enroll in hospice. In each scenario the cost of their care rose without a corresponding increase in value. I’ve listed some behavioral skills that have a chance to prevent unnecessary expense.
After a long session of office hours the other day that can be best described as an amateur rendition of a three-ring circus, I had a strange epiphany: Hospitals are making it more difficult for me to get my work done.
As the dawn of the New Year begins, perhaps it would be prudent to look back and chronicle a few selected teaching moments from 2013 that might have slipped past us.