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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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It is hurricane season once again and it has been 7 years since Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, displacing thousands of patients with cancer, many under active treatment. Since that time the world has changed, but the problems of coordination and continuity of care exposed by the Katrina...
“You look amazing!” It was the first thing out of my mouth upon seeing Sharon.* She is a woman in her mid-seventies, and she has recurrent ovarian cancer.
"Caring for patients involves the formation of multiple opinions. Traditionally, the patient's physician generates the first opinion, with other clinicians offering second opinions. However, an opinion at least as important must also be recognized in this traditional rubric—that of the...
As some of you may know, I am doing an Executive MBA in Healthcare Leadership at the Yale School of Management in my “spare” time. I love the program and am learning a ton. There was something a professor said the other day—no, not a novel way to think about linear programming, problem framing,...
BHAG = Big Hairy Audacious Goal The notion of the BHAG (yes, I know it sounds vaguely offensive) is a business concept I was first exposed to when I underwent orientation to join the Board of Governors of our clinic. It is a notion that resonates strongly to me. The concept is to set a...
Each year, ASCO presents awards to leading scientists, clinicians, and advocates whose contributions to our understanding and treatment of cancer and to the delivery of cancer therapy have bettered the lives of the patients for whom we care. Most of these awards are presented at the ASCO Annual...
Facing professional stress and burnout, some oncology professionals find emotional support in reaching out to an empathetic online community of their peers.
By Blase Polite, MD. Entitlement reform is going to be high on the agenda for Congress and the President in 2013. The budget agreement and its resulting sequester will force the debate, one buttressed by long-term fiscal math that just does not work out without entitlements added to the equation....
During Multidisciplinary Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board at Massachusetts General Hospital, a case was presented of an older woman with stage IV ovarian cancer who was deemed inoperable. Following review, we recommended a course of chemotherapy.
By Luke Nordquist, MD, FACP.  The typical community oncologist in the U.S. is spending progressively more time each day providing services that are necessary in order to provide quality care that each patient with cancer expects and deserves. These services require more time to complete and a...
Check out twheel, a new iPhone/iPad app for visualizing Twitter feeds released just yesterday, August 7, by Fluid Interaction. It uses cognitive science and circles to display and interact with complex data sets.
I have been thinking about the cancer experience—what it must be like to be on the receiving end of a cancer diagnosis, to live with cancer, and to experience the treatments; to receive the news that treatment worked or that it didn’t. I also have been thinking about what it must be like to “carry...
About eight years ago, before blogs and twitter were part of our daily world, I was intrigued by entertaining and informative syndicated radio programs such as ”Car Talk” (the talk show featuring “Click” and “Clack”) and “...
Throughout the course of my career, one issue that has remained close to my heart is encouraging women to pursue careers in medical leadership and clinical practice.
Not many of us make house calls anymore. Certainly not those of us in academic medicine. There is just so much to do: patients to see, research to conduct, grants to write and rewrite. A house call can take up the whole day or more. A house call for an oncology patient at the end of life is also...
What does “global health equity” mean? There are so many different aspects of health care affecting us all. There are disparities in the world; there are disparities within countries; there are disparities within cities. How do we tackle these enormous issues? First, we need to level the playing...
On a recent trip to Philadelphia, I caught up with Dan, a friend of mine since college. He is an artist in Philly, where he lives with his wife and daughter. He had asked me about being an oncologist, told me he had read my ASCO blogs. We spent hours discussing everything—parenthood, careers, and...
I think that one of the lost arts in medicine is observation. I thought about this on my morning walk today. We had a terrible storm, a derecho, last week which knocked the power out in the Washington, DC, area for over one million people. As I walked the neighborhood every day, I noticed a lot...

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