Blogs

Blogs

ASCOconnection.org is a forum for the exchange of views on topical issues in the field of oncology. The views expressed in the blogs, comments, and forums belong to the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Please read the Commenting Guidelines.

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The third annual ASCO Quality Care Symposium was held October 17-18, in Boston. This meeting has rapidly become the premier event to attend for oncologists, advanced practice providers, nurses, and other cancer professionals dedicated to quality improvement.
I was thinking about hard choices recently…. You know, thoseones that really matter and for which there is no obvious “right” answer. I found this TED talk that I thought could provide an easy algorithm for finding the...
I recently read an article that appeared in the New YorkTimes about what motivates people. It talked about a study of 11,320 cadets entering the military academy at West...
We just returned from the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) gathering. Once again, it proved to be extensive, revealing, and eventful. ASCO’s Dr. Barbara McAneny was reelected to the AMA...
Martha* had recurred yet again—her third in as many years. Despite our best attempts, remission proved fleeting. Fortunately, she had few (if any) symptoms of the cancer in her abdomen; no bloating, no nausea, no difficulty moving her bowels. Her concerns were more psychological—anxiety and...
The other day, I was visiting a good friend and mentor ofmine, Ed Halperin, who is Chancellor and CEO of New York Medical College. Dr. Halperin is a radiation oncologist, ahistorian, and an ethicist.
As characterized by Dr. Rita Charon in her JAMA article almost 15 years ago, narrative medicine is “the ability to acknowledge, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and plights of others.”1 It is the recognition that scientific knowledge alone is not enough—not enough for our patients,...
It’s so interesting…. We do what we do because that’s whatwe’ve always done, and despite how much we profess being evidence-baseddata-driven professionals, the status quo is just plain sticky. There have been several studies that have come out recently that have truly questioned why we do what we...
During the last few months, I have been visiting with as many of the 21 ASCO committees as I can in order to understand the issues that they have identified as most critical for cancer education, research, and patient well being. I have been impressed by the richness of vision and dedication that...
As has been my tendency as of late, I will often open up my social media sites to see what is happening in the world around me. One of these sites I have come to rely on is LinkedIn, which sends me the news from all sorts of places, and from my colleagues within and outside of oncology. One of...
Nelson Mandela died yesterday. I never knew him personally, but somehow, hispassing touched me-–just as it did the world, I suspect. In the quiet remorse of the news, I thoughtabout what he accomplished and...
Zeke Emanuel, a former advisor to President Obama andcurrent Chair of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University ofPennsylvania, was the lunchtime speaker at my MBA for Executives: Leadershipin Healthcare class this past weekend. He opened with the $2.8 trillion dollar figure—what we...
Last month the Associate Editors of Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient education website, met for the annual editors’ meeting. This was my first meeting since I became Editor-In-Chief in June after serving as an Associate Editor. The meeting was terrific—the editors were...
Joan was 42, married, but appeared to be younger than that. Her husband was with her when we first met, as was her beautiful two-year-old son. “We couldn’t get a baby sitter, if you can believe that!” she said.Sarah was 38 and was also married. She and I were closer to the same age, which...
One of the things I enjoy as an academic oncologist is the opportunity to teach. I like having students, residents, and fellows in my clinic and the opportunity for them to see what oncology is and what we do; how we "marry" the art and science of medicine in our routine care of patients with...
Everyday, we talk to people who are newly diagnosed with cancer…. To them, their worlds have just been turned upside down. They listen in shock and disbelief…. Wondering what just happened, and what will happen next…. It’s as though cancer has an inextricable power to hold people hostage. Despite...
For two years, I’ve participated in #bcsm, a rich breast cancer and social media community founded on Twitter. It has encouraged me to ask: why not design similar resources for people with other diseases?
Everywhere you look, there are things we can be doing better....on a personal level, we can be better clinicians, researchers, educators and leaders; on a systems' level, we can be improving quality, cost, and access to health care; on a societal level, we can be solving the problems of the world...

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