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Why do we often feel scared, rushed, and powerless in the doctor's office?  Can this affect how we heal?  Why do doctors behave the way they do? How can we improve the "dance" we do with doctors?

Host Robert Lipsyte, a two-time cancer survivor, asks the insiders.  Grey's Anatomy consultant psychologist Dan Shapiro, Ph.D., head of Penn State College of Medicine's Department of Humanities, explains the difficulty of teaching brainy medical students to be "human."  N.I.H. researcher and author Esther M. Sternberg, M.D. talks about her extensive study of the effects of stress on health and her own bout with crippling rheumatoid arthritis caused by stress. The Mayo Clinic's Dr. Michael Brennan offers pointers on getting and keeping your physician's attention and reaping the greatest benefits from a visit to the doctor.  The conversation will help you understand your doctor-and how to get your doctor to understand you!

Next, Lipsyte sits down with Sex in the City's Evan Handler, who speaks frankly about his own "dance with doctors" during his fight against cancer. Handler's new book, It's Only Temporary: The Good News and Bad News of Being Alive, offers lessons learned during Handler's life-and-death struggle with the medical establishment.  Getting the care you really need inside a hospital, Handler says, not only depends on you-it almost always requires a fight!

Finally-it is the rare Baby Boomer who didn't fall in love with the ideal suburban family that existed on television's The Dick Van Dyke Show. Multiple Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Bill Persky was one of the many great talents who helped create this TV classic.  Here Persky offers both wisdom and humor on what he thinks of as every person's last job: maintenance man to your own body.

Comments

re:

Interesting input but I also found some really nice dancing tips at 10bomb.com so you might want to check it out.

Evelina

Very funny video... I

Very funny video... I taught doctors are only for treating the patients..... but now I come to know they can dance very well.... very good Doctor.

Thanks a Lot
Health Communities

It was about time somebody

It was about time somebody wrote an article like this. Kudos to you!

In defense of doctors...

I too had a very life threatening illness -- a subarrachnoid hemmorage of the basilar artery in my brain. Survival rate without lasting deficits: about 5% when all is said and done.
I got nothing, in three months of hospitalization, but excellent, compassionate and attentive care. I made a full and astounding recovery. I trusted my doctors, did what I was told and have no complaints about my care. My family was relatively useless in the process, although they visited routinely. My biggest complaint: Whenever I tell people what I survived, they credit God and prayer with my survival. I credit my doctors, their sacrifices and skill. I was never afraid I was going to die and my close brush with death has made me absolutely unafraid of the end of life or physicians. I don't know of any physicians who go to work each day saying "Who can I misdiagnose or mistreat today?" Do they make mistakes? Of course. But do I have the skill, education or background to undermine their opinion or question their diagnosis? Of course not. This isn't to discount the second opinion, but self-diagnosis is just plain stupid. When a patient spends six hours on the Internet and thinks they have as much medical knowledge as their doctor, they get the scorn and dismissal they deserve.

Dancing with Doctors

This segment was very informative and sensitive in discussing the patient-doctor relationship. I believe the relationship with our health care provider is very important and we both have a part in refining it. These four participants gave clear and insightful information. Thanks.

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