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At CLL Ireland’s 1st National Patient and Carer Day on April 29, 2017 in Dublin, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Patrick Thornton, Consultant Haematologist, Senior Lecturer RCSI, Clinical Director Hermitage Medical Clinic Laboratory, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin concerning the benefits of the partnership between a charity such as CLL Ireland in Ireland or the CLL Society in the USA and a CLL researcher and clinician, such as himself.
The benefits are many.
- It is difficult for doctors to know at what level patients wants information. Educational forums such as CLL Ireland’s 1st National Patient and Carer Day and the many forums of the CLL Society are opportunities to present information at multiple levels.
- Physicians may not know to what questions patients want answers and such forums provide the opportunity for both the doctors and patients to learn from each other.
- CLL is a rare disease. Some patients may have never met another CLL patient until they attend a patient forum or support group. Seeing a patient who is doing well after treatment is encouraging and informative.
- Clinical trials tend to happen where recruitment more consistently happens. Patient groups are a way to share news about the trials and increase accrual, particularly important in a small country such as Ireland where without patients organizing, there would be less access to trials
- Forums can bring patients up to date on the latest research and treatment options.
As Dr. Thornton, says: knowledge for patients will help them get better treatment.
As we say: Smart Patients Get Smart Care
Enjoy my brief first interview with Dr. Thornton.
Brian Koffman, MD 10/10/17