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  1. I was asked a simple question the other day: "how did you choose your oncologist?" My answer, after an embarrassing pause, was I didn't. When diagnosed, I had no idea what an oncologist was. Likely, I couldn't have spelled the word. My exposure to medicine was limited to visits with my general practitioner where we'd discuss investment opportunities, automobiles, calculating hydraulic head pressure on pumps, almost anything but medicine. He is more friend than physician. The evening after hospital admission for coughing up blood, perhaps the most frightening day of my life, my general practitioner said he'd selected the specialists to battle my lung cancer. He noticed my puzzled expression when he said oncologist and clarified with "cancer doctor." In this world of medical complexity, the role of general practitioner is often under appreciated. His tenure in practice gives insight into the world of medical specialities; he knows the best from the rest. He also knows my temperament, medical history, and diagnosis complexity. Merging insight and patient knowledge yielded the team that saved my life. Mine was an accidental solution. On reflection, my answer should have been: cultivate a good relationship with your general practitioner.
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