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Your Doctor- How Did you Know ?


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from diagnosis, biopsies, scans and exams- you end up with your oncologist who orders your treatment plan and meets with you before/during/after each step along your cancer journey.

What did your doctor do to instill confindence that he/she was the right doctor for you?

Was there just a feeling or a manner of treatment or certain style that made you comfortable in putting your trust and life in their hands?

I work with many oncologists and researchers daily...but I always think back to my dad's doctor.

I didn't have any confidence in him what so ever....he was too quiet, too conservative for my taste...but my dad trusted him whole heartedly...he was safe....it was a generational thing and they communicated well with each other. That's all my dad needed.

1) What about you? How did you know?

2) And what, do you think, oncologists can/should do, that would instill confidence from their newly diagnosed patients?

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For my own (not lunc cancer) stuff, a doctor who takes me seriously and considers me part of the 'treatment team' is important to me. And as much as I wish I could say, "If he/she is brilliant but has a crappy bedside manner, it's ok with me," I just can't. A bedside manner--seeing me as a person--is really important to me. If I don't like you, I don't trust you.

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A bedside manner--seeing me as a person--is really important to me. If I don't like you, I don't trust you.

Oh my - how true this is. My surgery was done on a Friday and the doctor on call that weekend came to see me in the hospital. He never said a word to me, never looked me in the eye, never asked me a question. I would never trust him as my doctor. But I trusted my surgeon and he recommended my oncologist. And I liked him and trusted him.


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bedside manner speaks volumes! Debs Onc did rounds at 5 am and was in his office at 7 am until he was done for the day with every single Patient! He also came in during holidays to spend time with all his patients in the hospital rather than all day with friends and family! they got him in the Morning and the hospital had him in afternoon!

Still to this day have a ton of respect for that Doctor!! HE would come in and talk about anything you wanted to talk about cancer or not!!

If you wanted to talk sports he would talk sports with you and then your condition or treatment! it was all about the patient not the cancer!!

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Another question I would like to hear my sister's answer. For me, it certainly helped that when he knew I was a researcher, he listened to me and respected that. But mainly, it was how he answered when she asked him "What are my chances?" That speaks volumes for me and he handled it exactly as I would have if she had asked me first. Explained statistics and how they reflect a population and not an individual, how they are by definition 5-yrs behind and therefore don't include newer therapeutic modalities, and how it was way too early to know how her cancer would respond to treatment. He then said - now if you really still want to know, you can go home and google it, so if you want to know, I'd rather tell you myself. She said she did and so he told her the median survival numbers. It did definitely take her by surprise, but she eventually she said she was glad she heard the numbers and I was please with how he told her.

Then there was late in the day on December 26 that first year that he spent over an hour with us talking to her when she was scared and unsure whether to try the surgery. At one point she said she was taking too much of his time and he said "I have nowhere else to go. I can stay here as long as you need me to."

He's a great mix of kind and compassionate and yet very aggressive medically. I couldn't have found a better oncologist for her if I had made one in my laboratory myself. :)

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For me, it was the matter of fact description of my case. There was a team of Drs. all specialists who along with their staffs looked at all the test results, compared their opinions and presented a treatment plan. That plan was designed just to attack the cancer that was specific to me. They painted no rosey pictures of what the future held. There was no crystal ball vision of an outcome. I appreciated the honesty and understood that if I decided to go forward with them, my life was in their hands. Once the plan began, I knew that whatever happened to me that it was going to happen with them. I believe that it takes that kind of committment from both patient and the Drs. to acheive any kind of success. If there is any ever doubt in my mind that I don't have their undivided attention, then maybe it'll be time to move on.

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My Oncologist found me. We didn't have a treatment plan yet. I was in the hospital recovering from surgery when this kind, older man came by. He said usually ends his day by going around the hospital to visit with those newly diagnosed. I asked him when his day started, and he said 6:00AM. It was 8:00PM when he came in to visit.

He said he was just there to see how I was, and didn't have a plan or agenda. He said he knew several great Oncologists, if I needed a recommendation. I looked into his big, brown, and very kind eyes, and asked if he could take me on, and of course, he did. He was great. I felt sad when he retired. However my new Oncologist is great too.

Bedside/and or Office manner is huge.

Judy in MI

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