Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Competitive Oncology

A close friend (for 40-some years) was diagnosed a year or so ago with breast cancer. She recently moved to Cincinnati, but her oncologist is in Columbus (a good hour-and-a-half drive each way). She likes her doc, but would prefer someone "closer to home," so she's started oncologist shopping.

I asked her how that was working, and about her criteria. The first doctor she met with claimed that the practice was quite cost-effective. Now, that's probably a good thing from the insurers' point of view, but not my friend's ("I don't want her being frugal with my care").

So what is she looking for?

Well, obviously that they "connect" on a personal level, but then she said "I want a doctor who's competitive." When I asked what that meant, her answer stunned and delighted me:

"I want a doctor who looks at the median life expectancy of cancer patients, and makes it his goal to have all his patients beat that."

Beat that.
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