Monday, March 22, 2010

Medical School Credentials

No, I didn’t go to medical school. I haven’t taken medical boards. Probably the last formal science courses I took were 9th biology and 10th grade chemistry. Graduate school focused on health care and research. Yet, because I manage the Johns Hopkins Medicine annual women’s health conference--A Woman's Journey--and am fortunate enough to interact with some of the world’s leading physicians, my family, friends and their friends call me for medical advice.

Weekly, I field telephone calls and emails: How should they treat a growing list of ailments? Which treatment option has better outcomes? Who is the best expert? How many international units of Vitamin D should they take? Should pathology reports be overread? or Does a patient need a second opinion? Many times I am able to confidently refer friends to the right specialist. Most times I remind them of the shortcomings of my “medical education.” And, always, I urge them to attend A Woman’s Journey so they can learn and personally question the real experts.

Before the conference in November, sign up for the Woman’s Journey monthly e-mail which contains reports of relevant medical advances from Hopkins. It’s a good way to learn about health care hopefully before we need it. Take it from me; this is good advice.