I Want a Doctor Who Can Say…

May 19, 2019 by celia

In my most recent blog What Do You Want From Your Doctor, I shared a response to this question by a patient who participated in the Writing is Good Medicine® program I facilitated at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center. (more…)


Announcing the inaugural SpeakSooner Facilitator Training Program

May 15, 2019 by celia

This June we are offering the inaugural SpeakSooner training program. We will offer instruction on introducing and using our paradigm changing Difficult Conversations Toolkit; strategies for addressing resistance in using this material; and approaches for building relationships with healthcare and community organizations. The training will be lead by  CCM co-founders Bernard and Celia Bandman.

Contact Us for further description and application.
Click here to request information on how to share this information with your colleagues or healthcare institution.

What Do You Want Your Doctor to Know About You?

April 29, 2019 by celia

In previous blogs I described my role as a medical humanist at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center (2002-2005) where I documented the patient’s understanding of their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan and the impact of their illness on themselves and family. (more…)


Do They Know What I Am Thinking?

March 27, 2019 by celia

Always interested in receiving feedback about the “Difficult Conversations Toolkit”, a patient asked me if I would read what she had written.  “I am unsure,” she said, “of how I have structured it.”

“I’d be pleased to read what you have written,” I said. (more…)


When The Doctor Becomes A Patient

March 20, 2019 by celia

The Center for Communication in Medicine (CCM) will present a SpeakSooner community education program “When the Doctor Becomes a Patient” on Saturday, April 13, 2019, 6pm at the Hoosick Falls Central School in Hoosick Falls, NY. The program includes an Exclusive Screening of The Doctor followed by a panel discussion with local healthcare providers Dr. Marcus Martinez, Dr. James Carroll, Dr. Matthew Pender and nurse, Patty Ryan, who will share their personal experiences as patients. A Q&A and dessert will follow.

The film tells the story of a doctor who discovers the challenges of life from the other side of the stethoscope after being diagnosed with cancer. William Hurt stars as a doctor who thought he knew it all until he became a patient and finds himself frustrated in navigating the healthcare system. The film received wide acclaim and a prized “Two Thumbs Up” by critics Siskel & Ebert.  

CCM’s 2018 film series was highly successful with one attendee raving, “We can’t wait for the next film and discussion.” This SpeakSooner event is another of CCM’s community education efforts in support of our mission: “to prepare patients facing serious illness and their loved ones for meaningful conversations with healthcare providers, leading to improved communication and a plan of care that honors a person’s values, priorities, and goals.”

Admission to the film, discussion and dessert reception is free. Limited seating.

TO RESERVE TICKETS go to http://speaksoonerhoosickfalls.rsvpify.com or call CCM 802 442-5800


When The Conversation Changes

February 27, 2019 by celia

“Learn the art of fragmented, irrational conversations and follow
the patient’s lead instead of trying to control the dialogue.”
Zen and the Art of Coping With Alzheimer’s

In the days when there were video stores I would walk by the film “Iris” countless times, knowing it was a story of the writer Iris Murdoch and her husband’s experience with her cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)


Doctors Have a Hard Job

January 30, 2019 by celia

“Few patients realize how deeply they can affect their doctors,” notes Dr. Scott Haig. In his Time Magazine article (10/5/2007) he goes on to say, “That is a big secret in medicine, which doctors hate to admit. (more…)


The Illusion of Caring—is That Enough?

January 6, 2019 by celia

I recently stumbled upon a writing exercise completed by a patient who participated in the “Writing is Good Medicine”TM, program, which I created to help patients put words to their experience of living with illness. Participants were encouraged to share their writing with family and healthcare providers in order to open communication about issues and concerns. For one exercise I posed the question, “What do you expect from your doctors?” (more…)


Questions Only God Can Answer

November 28, 2018 by celia

In the early 2000’s the Center for Communication in Medicine created a program for physicians at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center titled “Doctors Conversation Hour.” (more…)


UNCERTAINTY IS THE REFUGE OF HOPE

October 24, 2018 by celia

UNCERTAINTY IS THE REFUGE OF HOPE
The Journal Intime
Henri Frederic Amiel

Recently, I was reminded of a patient from time passed who had asked me, “How does one live with uncertainty?”

In The Wounded Story Teller writer and patient Arthur Frank notes, “When a doctor tells us we are sick they are not just diagnosing us—they are initiating a new chapter in the story of our lives. What would it be like for patients to tell their stories and doctors to read them?” (more…)