Published on November 29, 2017
In this Ask the Expert segment, Dr. Abdulraheem Yacoub responds to a question from a Patient Power community member asking for advice on educating their primary care physician about their MPN. Dr. Abdulraheem Yacoub addresses how to approach the crucial conversation in order to make sure everyone on your healthcare team is on the same page, so you can receive the best treatment possible.
The Ask the Expert series is sponsored through an educational grant to the Patient Empowerment Network from Incyte Corporation.
Transcript | How Can I Educate My Primary Care Provider About Myeloproliferative Neoplasms?
We have some questions we've gotten in from the MPN community, and here's one we got from Tom. Tom wants to know, “How can I educate my primary care physician about polycythemia vera and MPNs in general?”
Well, thank you very much for the question. This remains a challenge even in 2017 when this disease has been well-known for multiple decades. We still have a significant level of underappreciation, underunderstanding at the level of primary care physicians and at the level of some actually unfortunately some hematologists/oncologists.
So I think the answer to that question goes to both seeking an expert in myeloproliferative neoplasms, which can work with your local doctor in terms of providing material for education and to bring all parties up to the same speed, and informing the primary care physician of the updates that are going on in the field of myeloproliferative neoplasms.
It also, I think also at this time some patients have a responsibility in spreading the message. So patients every day of the week bring me material and articles and websites to review and new recipes and alternative therapeutic options, and they challenge me, and I enjoy that very much. And I'm sure most responsible physicians and primary care physicians would be very intrigued and stimulated by such an interaction.
So I think patients also have a contribution to make in this sense by providing some resources to their doctors that they have cross?checked with their oncologist so that they can bring everybody up to the same bar and up to the same knowledge base.
Okay. So first is create a connection between your MPN specialist and your primary care doctor, and the other is don't hesitate to bring things in to help your primary care doctor get smarter about these rare conditions.
Absolutely. We can all use some more challenge in our practices and some more stimulation, and I think the education process goes both ways. There are patients who have taken a lot of endeavors and enterprises in providing patient assistance and patient education, so the leaders in the field of patient education are actually patients, not physicians. And this can also be carried forward at the level of each individual patient with their own individual doctor as well as their family members and caregivers and all the other key members who are helping in their care.