Doctor Day Delight
You may not be aware, but tomorrow, March 30th, marks national Doctor’s Day in the US and most of Canada.
We all know. Trips to the doctor’s office aren’t that much fun. The build up to these trips usually induces feelings of uneasiness, stress, and anxiety.
So we thought we’d highlight the story of an exceptional doctor who is making sure she can improve the experience for all patients.
This Doc rocks.
So, what makes Dr. Laura Esserman so special? What doesn’t make her special is a better question.
Dr. Esserman (we’ll call her Dr. Laura), is based in San Francisco, California. She is the Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and is a breast cancer surgeon at the University of California. She’s also a badass who has been challenging the medical establishment most of her career.
For instance, when was the last time your Doctor sang to you as you went under the knife? Probs never. Well Dr. Laura sings her patients to “sleep” as they undergo anaesthetic administration. She even takes requests if she gets enough heads up. We’d recommend an acapella of SHM’s “Don’t You Worry Child.” (Jokes aside, she’s been signing to her patients for over 20 years. Legit.)
Another example of her humanness: Dr. Laura opts for whatever time is necessary for her patients — even if it means spending over an hour with a patient, ending her day at 10 pmor texting her patients throughout the night to be sure she answers all their concerns.
Why does she go so to such lengths?
Because (quick reminder) her patients are usually dealing with one of the most serious illnesses — breast cancer. Words that are very scary to many people.
In addition to these amazing extra human touches, she is really pushing the envelope. Sometimes even controversially.
In a nutshell, this NY Times article best summarizes what makes her approach amazing: she is one of the “most vocal proponents of the idea that breast cancer screening brings with it overdiagnosis and overtreatment.”
The reality is that the current medical establishment is generally in favour a more gung-ho approach to breast cancer treatment. They believe that it’s best practice to be prudent with certain diagnoses (like ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an early stage, non-spreading cancer) and operate asap.
Dr. Laura thinks otherwise.
She is a big advocate (and rebel) for not suggesting surgery unless it’s absolutely important. She is one of the few cancer surgeons in the US who chooses patience (a wait-and-watch approach) in most cases of early cancer detection. Her medical opinions often favour a regular follow up schedule with most of her patients instead of rushing into any invasive treatments, such as mastectomy, lumpectomy or biopsy (all are types of surgeries.)
While we may not expect our doctor to memorize the words to “Let It Go”, we would all definitely appreciate knowing (and trusting) that they have our best interests at ❤️️
Happy Doctor’s Day to all the great doctors out there!
PS: It’s a wonderful step forward to see that more and more medical professionals are respecting the close ties between the mental and physical health of their patients.
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