May 17, 2017 by celia

When I was first diagnosed,” she said, “I didn’t feel I needed your help. I know how to get what I need—I’m a nurse, we speak the same language.” (more…)


April 26, 2017 by celia

  “Variability is the law of life…no two bodies are alike, no two individuals react and behave alike
under the conditions which we know as disease.” – William Osler, MD

In my previous blog I noted, “patients’ want to be good patients,” which prompted several people to ask, “What is a good patient?”  (more…)

Stories Are The Antibodies Against Illness

April 10, 2017 by celia


I often think about what the writer and patient Anatole Broyard said, “Stories are the antibodies against illness.”

It’s hard enough that a diagnosis comes along to threaten our lives—does it also have to threaten our life stories?   (more…)


March 8, 2017 by celia

WNYT Channel 13’s news anchor and health reporter, Benita Zahn, recently visited Center for Communication in Medicine (CCM) to talk with co-founders Dr. Bernard Bandman and Celia Engel Bandman and patient Kiki Smith. The interview covered a wide range of subjects including barriers to doctor-patient communication, use of the Difficult Conversations Toolkit and how SpeakSooner Community Programs have prepared patients and families to be more effective communicators.

To learn more about SpeakSooner’s Community Education Programs join us on March 24 at the Oldcastle Theater in Bennington, VT for an exclusive screening of the award winning documentary, “The Boys of 2nd Street Park”, featuring CCM’s Dr. Bernard Bandman as one of the ‘Boys’.

The Waiting Room Syndrome

February 22, 2017 by celia


“When I think of people in waiting rooms, including myself, I picture us rifling restlessly through battered magazines,” writes Rachel Hadas, Guest Editor of  “The Waiting Room Reader II:  Words to Keep You Company”.


Exclusive Screening of Award Winning Documentary “Boys of 2nd Street Park”

February 8, 2017 by celia

The Center for Communication in Medicine will host an exclusive screening of the award winning documentary, “Boys of 2nd Street Park” on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 7pm at Oldcastle Theater, 331 Main Street, Bennington, Vermont. All proceeds will benefit the Center for Communication in Medicine’s (CCM) SpeakSooner Community Education Programs.

This Sundance Film Festival selection tells the story of love, loss and family of a group of friends growing up in the innocence of the 1950’s, confronting the cultural upheaval of the 1960’s and follows their lives as they make sense of their formative years. CCM co-founder Dr. Bernard Bandman is one of the ‘boys’ featured in the film. He and his wife CCM co-founder Celia Engel Bandman share the story about their first child’s illness – a loss that not only informed their lives but also was the genesis of their work with the Center for Communication in Medicine.

The San Francisco Examiner describes the documentary as ‘intimate, thoughtful and well-crafted … two sorts of viewers should attend: those who experienced the uneasy 60’s and those who did not” while Esquire notes the film is “a powerful reminder of the greatness found in ordinary lives.”

“The Boys of 2nd Street Park” trailer

The evening will include the screening of the film, discussion and reception. Tickets for the event are $25.00 and are available online HERE or by sending a check to CCM PO Box 197, Bennington, VT 05201. Please be sure to include your contact information. All proceeds to benefit CCM’s Community Education Programs.

Prescribe The Pen

January 25, 2017 by celia

To be a person is to have a story to tell.  —Isak Dinesen

It’s hard enough that a diagnosis comes along to threaten our lives—does it also have to threaten our life stories? (more…)

We Do Not Remember Days—We Remember Moments

December 23, 2016 by celia

And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been…
-Rainer Maria Rilke

With the coming of each New Year I think about what has passed, passing and to come. But today I find myself not reflecting on 2016. Instead, (more…)


November 30, 2016 by celia


Tacked to my bulletin board within my line of sight are the words of Dr. William Osler,a 19th century physician who pioneered taking medical students out of the classroom to learn at the bedside. Dr. Osler understood that medicine was more than science. He encouraged the students to:


Ongoing work to SpeakSooner from CCM

October 19, 2016 by celia

On Friday, October 14 Dr. Bernard Bandman was interviewed by Ed Rabinowitz of Physician’s Money Digest for his upcoming column on physicians educating patients. Doctor patient communication is at the heart of CCM’s SpeakSooner initiative and it is gratifying that this work continues to be sought out by the medical community.

On Monday, October 17 Celia Engel Bandman and Dr. Bandman offered a program, “Patients, Caregivers & Healthcare Team: A Delicate Balance” to the Springfield Hospital medical staff.

Also in recognition of the Bandmans innovative work with the SpeakSooner initiative, CCM’s founders have been invited to participate in a panel discussion at Bennington College’s Center for Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) as part of CAPA’s Legislative Series. The panel will discuss the work being done to create a healthy Bennington (VT), as well as identify the gaps in achieving health and wellness in our community. Moderated by VT State Senator Brian Campion and CAPA director, Susan Sgorbati. The program runs from 7 – 8:30 pm.