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Choosing The Right Doctor

No doubt about it, finding the right doctor for you is a job, but it may be the most crucial job you will ever have.  There is also no doubt that the right doctor for one BC Warrior may not be the right doctor for another BC Warrior.  Some want an authority figure – someone who will take charge and tell them exactly what to do.  Others want a collaborator – a partner -- a fellow soldier in the war against cancer.  And still others want ‘the smartest guy in the room’. 

There are thousands of doctors with medical degrees from prestigious medical schools.  There are thousands who interned at the world’s leading teaching hospitals, and thousands who have been practicing for decades.  (and, by the way, it’s called ‘practicing’ because no one has yet figured out how to do it perfectly).   What works for one BC Warrior won’t necessarily work for another.  So, how do you know who the right doctor for you is?  Only you can answer that question, but by all means do answer it consciously, intelligently and deliberately.

Begin the process by asking for recommendations.  Ask other BC Warriors.  A good place to find other BC Warriors is at a Breast Cancer Support Group.  (By all means do seek out a local Breast Cancer Support Group.  The information, compassion, and guidance you will find there will be invaluable).   Call your local American Cancer Society office.  Make a list of the names people mention and soon you will discover that the same two or three names keep coming up.  Contact your state’s Medical Board and ask for information about the doctors on your list.  Assuming that the state Board hasn’t given you any reason to scratch a name off your list, call the offices of each of those doctors and arrange a meeting.   Treat the meeting as you would a job interview because, in fact, it is a job interview.  You are preparing to hire the person you believe is best qualified to help you save your life.

If you’re facing a Mastectomy or Lumpectomy, interview surgeons who have had extensive hands-on experience with cancer-related Breast Surgery.  A surgeon who has done fifteen hundred Appendectomies but only two Mastectomies probably isn’t your best choice.   Ask every doctor every question you can think of.  Express every misgiving; every fear; every concern, and let yourself feel the doctor’s responses.  Pay attention to what your gut is telling you.  Does this doctor make you feel comfortable?  Does this doctor inspire your confidence?  Does this doctor seem to care about you, the person?  The best doctors are doctors who treat people, not diseases!   Compassion, kindness and caring – emotional connections -- these are powerful healing forces.   The doctor who has these in addition to having the most up-to-date medical knowledge is probably the best doctor for you. 


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Between now and Halloween, collect One Dollar from as many people as you can, then mail it, in the form of a Check or Money Order (payable to The Breast Cancer Warrior Foundation, or BCWF) to:


Mind Matters

Bernie Siegel, MD., Medical Advisor to the Breast Cancer Warrior Foundation; author of numerous best-selling books including "Love, Medicine & Miracles," world-renown doctor and expert in the field of the mind's ability to inspire healing, answers your questions:


Dear Dr. Siegel  – I have BC…and my oncologist says I need radiation.  I don’t know why, but…there’s a voice in my head telling me not to do it.  Should I listen to the voice?  Is it possible that some inner part of me knows something that the doctor doesn’t know?

– Sterling (SC)


Dear Sterling --  Yes this could be your intuitive wisdom or gut feeling or it could be…


Send your questions to Bernie Siegel, MD

info@bcwarrior.net It's that easy! Bernie's Q & A Column, MIND MATTERS, is now a regular feature.


Love, Medicine & Miracles Help Me Heal Me

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From Cancer Patient to Respant

By:  Bernie Siegel, MD

Unfortunately doctors and health professionals, in general, do not study success. We are far more likely to consider an unexpected recovery to be due to the treatment or a spontaneous remission. However, I have learned from my experience with patients and by asking them, “Why didn’t you die when you were supposed to?” that they always had a story to tell.