I had the opportunity to be on the popular ABC talk show “The View” on May 2, 2011. It was a historic day as topic number one was the death of terrorist Osama Bin Laden. The show did a beautiful job of discussing the top story at length but the producers did not forsake our day in, day out interest in our health. The last part of the show was devoted to discussing my new book, “The Web-Savvy Patient,” and why it is important to be “web-savvy” when it comes to your personal health.
I was on the program with longtime friend Beth Mays, a mom who became web-savvy in advocating for her infant son, now 11 years old. Our interviewers were Barbara Walters and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. You may know that Walters had a heart valve replaced in 2010, which was covered extensively in the news.
You may not know that Hasselbeck was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2000 and has severe gluten intolerance. She spent a lot of time with us talking about her struggles to get information and then to get doctors to take her seriously. She was suffering with gastrointestinal problems and they weren’t listening. Many didn’t know much, or even anything at all, about celiac disease. So Hasselbeck, just like you and me, had to do 1) plenty of research online and 2) be a strong advocate for herself, even if it meant firing a doctor who wouldn’t listen.
The more I speak with people about the need to be a powerful patient these days – even celebrities – I see it is a universal need. Another guest on the show was LL Cool J. His dressing room was across the hall. Right after chatting with Whoopi Goldberg, he came to chat with me and wanted to see the book. He was very interested. So were several producers who chatted about members of their families with health concerns. I am feeling somewhat like a doctor now, even though I am not one. And I am feeling good that the word is getting out that we need to take more control of our health and health care. You can bet Elisabeth Hasselbeck believes that big time!
The View team wrote a blog about the show, giving the public tips from the book on how to be web-savvy patients: http://theview.abc.go.com/blog/how-be-web-savvy-patient
You can find the replay of the entire show here: http://abc.go.com/watch/the-view/SH559080/VD55124656/the-view-52
About the author: Andrew Schorr is a medical journalist, cancer survivor and founder of Patient Power, a one-of-a-kind company dedicated to bringing in-depth information to patients with cancer and chronic illness. Audio and video programs, as well as transcripts, help patients make informed decisions to support their health in partnership with their medical team. Patient Power is at www.PatientPower.info and on Facebook. Schorr is also the author of “The Web Savvy Patient: An Insider's Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis." http://www.websavvypatient.com/