An Important Thanksgiving Conversation

PUBLISHED ON  November 25, 2009

WRITTEN BY  Roni Zeiger

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Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and to remember and share how much we care about one another. A conversation we don’t typically have with mom, dad, brother, or sister is about our wishes at the end of life. As a doctor, I’ve witnessed many tragic occasions where a loved one may well have been treated quite differently than they wished at the end of their life, because the family just didn’t know what they wanted, and it was too late to ask.

This is the second annual “blog rally” to promote Engage With Grace – a movement aimed at having all of us understand and communicate our end-of-life wishes. First, a bit of humor for you to consider. Let’s think of it as a warm-up:

An Important Thanksgiving Conversation

 

 

Now consider the five questions from Engage With Grace below. Think about them, document them, share them. Best wishes to you and yours for a holiday that’s fulfilling in all the right ways.

 

Add Magic and Music to Medicine

PUBLISHED ON  November 1, 2009

WRITTEN BY  Roni Zeiger

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Last week a special conference called TEDMED happened, which brought together thought leaders in health and technology, as well as leaders from many fields which at first glance might surprise you.

We saw the future of health care in discussions about robotic limbs, over-the-counter DNA testing, and pills with (edible!) computer chips inside them. Equally eye-opening was inspirational poetry, soul-touching live music, and magicians who made us question our assumptions about the impossible. I even learned how to hold my breath for 4 minutes!

At first, I judged these latter sessions to be light entertainment designed simply as a break between the real content of the conference. Now I’m not so sure. Health is a science we still understand only superficially. Surely a century from now we will look back at the state of the art of 2009 and see that medicine was in its infancy. I expect (and hope) that health care also has a long evolution ahead. We — patients, clinicians, caregivers, friends — will learn to take better care of each other as we uncover the mysteries of science and technology.

Perhaps we can also learn about health care by listening to the way music and other art can heal, and the way magic can make us challenge our assumptions about what is possible.

Mission: Transform the Culture of Medicine

PUBLISHED ON  October 20, 2009

WRITTEN BY  Roni Zeiger

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Today I’m proud to share that a special online journal has launched: the Journal of Participatory Medicine. The simple goal is to learn what methods really work for patient-doctor collaboration, and in doing so transform the culture of medicine.

Why is this important? It turns out that doctors can’t do it alone. This isn’t news, and “e-patients” have been at it for years now, improving their own outcomes and the outcomes of others by supplementing and often going beyond what their doctors can alone do for them. Participatory Medicine is a new approach that encourages and expects active patient involvement in all aspects of care.

Have a look at the launch issue: www.jopm.org. It’s peer reviewed by doctors and patients.

How do you want to participate in your care?

Mission: Transform the Culture of Medicine