In my first year of oncology fellowship, our program director asked us a question: what percentage of people with cancer survived 5 years or more? At that time, in 2003, the answer was 60%. I was appalled that fewer than half of us fellows, physicians embarking on a subspecialty training program to devote our careers … Read moreCancer survivorship: 8 key updates from the 2018 ASCO/AAFP/ACP Cancer Survivorship Symposium
What is adjuvant therapy? One of the most common questions I hear at an initial visit, as a medical oncologist, is: “My surgeon told me she got all the cancer. So why am I here?” One of the jobs of the medical oncologist is teaching our patients that cancer is a systemic disease. That means … Read moreWhy you might need chemotherapy after surgery: the basics of adjuvant chemotherapy
Greetings Readers. I thought I would try something new and start somewhat of a series. If you didn’t see my original post on prior authorizations, this link will take you right to it. Last week I found myself on the phone, yet again arguing on behalf of a patient, to overturn the denial of the … Read moreEpisode 2: The Prior Authorization Games: Where the Odds are Never in Your Favor
“My mom is a doctor, my dad is a Dad.” So stated one of our children in their autobiography assignment for school. I kept reading, curious what would come next. “My dad usually stays home and cleans up, and takes care of the pets.” I thought for a moment. “That’s very good, honey, but do … Read moreMy Mom is a Doctor, My Dad is a Dad.
Recently I was enjoying a “mom day” running errands with the kids, you know, the usual essentials — groceries, school supplies, and espresso coffee drive-through. At this last stop, the barista made small talk and, seeing the kids in the back seat, joked about school starting soon and how I must be looking forward to … Read moreGuilt and the Physician Mom: Doing Enough; not Perfection
I am not the first physician blogger to write about the difficulties of prior authorizations, denials, and appeals, but recent occurrences in my own practice have been so convoluted that I feel they must be shared. The nonsensical denials would almost cause one to laugh, if not for the reality that each denial represents potential … Read moreThe Prior Authorization Games: Where the Odds are Never in Your Favor
The following post is an edited transcript of my speech given on 7/8/17 at the Relay for Life 2017, Clatsop County, OR. I am very excited by this year’s Relay for Life theme, “Who is your superhero?” I am excited because I get to work with real-life superheroes every day. And this morning I get … Read moreRelay for Life 2017: Who is your superhero?
My smile freezes on my face as my patient says to me, “I’m so glad you’re back – that I get to see Mrs. Lycette today!” He has been my patient for several years, and I am perplexed to hear him address me as “Mrs.” rather than “Doctor.” At the same time, I really do … Read moreThe Doctor is In; The Mrs. is Out: forms of address toward female physicians.
I recently read a post by oncologist Dr. Stephanie Graff on the experience of blame, from self and others, that people with cancer are subjected to. The talk about risk factors and early detection makes us think we can achieve perfection, and that cancer is somehow a personal fault…let us stop making accusations and blaming persons … Read moreIn cancer, there is no place for blame.