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How Can I Get the Best Care for My MPN in a Rural Area?

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Published on March 10, 2020

Key Takeaways

Myeloproliferative neoplasm expert Dr. Laura Michaelis, from the Medical College of Wisconsin, shares how patients living in rural areas can still receive care from a specialist like her. Watch as Dr. Michaelis discusses the importance of collaboration and teamwork across the MPN community, no matter your location.

This program is sponsored by Incyte. This organization has no editorial control. It is produced by Patient Power. Patient Power is solely responsible for program content.

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Transcript | How Can I Get the Best Care for My MPN in a Rural Area?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:           

Hello and welcome to Patient Power on location in Orlando, Florida. I’m Andrew Schorr. Why are we in Orlando? Because this is where each year there is a big medical convention—not always in Orlando. It moves around, but this year here more than 25,000 blood experts from around the world come, including blood cancer experts, and that means part of the discussion is about MPNs. I’ve been living with myelofibrosis for about eight years. You’re affected by it or a loved one. Let’s get the news.

So, starting across the way here we have our first expert Dr. Angela Fleischman from UC Irvine. Angela, thanks for being with us.

Dr. Fleischman:           

Thank you for having me.  

Andrew Schorr:           

Thank you. In the center is Dr. Brady Stein from Northwestern. And, Brady, thank you for being with us. And then on the right is Laura Michaelis from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. 

Dr. Michaelis:              

Thank you so much, Andrew. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Andrew Schorr:           

So, there you are in Milwaukee, but there may be somebody in the far reaches of Wisconsin or even other northern tier states, and there’s not a hematologist who’s knowledgeable. So, besides people trekking to Milwaukee, can their doctor—can they be in touch basically? Do you weigh in?

Dr. Michaelis:              

Absolutely. So, one of the things I’ve learned and when I started working in Wisconsin is how incredibly critical it is for me to develop really friendly relationships with the other providers around the northern part of my state. Patients can drive 200 to 300 miles sometimes to get care and that’s not feasible. You’re taking care of your grandkids or it’s the middle of winter and the snow’s—so, we have a pretty tight community of providersWe do get together on a regular basis and talk about MPNs.

But in addition, most of the other providers in my state have my cell phone number and if your doctor, if you’re in a situation in a rural situation in particular or you’re not close to an MPN practitioner, I would really encourage you to say to ask your provider, "Are you in touch with any specialist in this, is this something where you could go on—where you might want to contact somebody, because I feel like I’m in an unusual situation." I can certainly give advice or recommendations not specific to a patient but in general about how I manage things. Usually to give specific patient instructions I want to have seen that patient, examined that patient, taken a real deep dive.

But I also see a lot of patients maybe once or twice, once a year let’s say. Then they go back to their home which is 300 miles away and regularly I correspond with their physician, I take a look at their blood counts, we talk about things. So, that to me is one of, again one of the great parts of being in this practice is building teamsand those teams shouldn’t be geographically located.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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