Improving Communication Between Oncologists and People With Cancer

August 14, 2018
Greg Guthrie, ASCO staff

The ASCO Educational Book is a collection of articles written by ASCO Annual Meeting speakers and oncology experts. Published annually, each volume highlights the most compelling research and developments across many different fields of cancer care.

Building effective communication between the health care team and the person with cancer can have real effects on the cancer treatment process. A patient-clinician relationship that has a strong foundation in communication can inform, empower, and build trust for both the patient and the doctor.share on twitter

This podcast features Timothy Gilligan, MD, FASCO, and Liz Salmi, a brain tumor survivor and advocate for giving patients access to their full medical records. Together, they discuss ways in which communication can be improved in cancer care and some of the difficulties that must be addressed.   

  • What are “clinical notes” and what is their purpose in managing a person’s cancer care? [4:16]

  • What were the effects of giving patients access to their clinical notes? [6:41]

  • Why did ASCO create patient-clinician communication guidelines for oncology care providers? [10:16]

  • How can doctors and patients discuss spirituality and the cancer experience? [12:00]

  • What can patients do to improve communication with the health care team? [15:21]

Dr. Gilligan is an associate professor and medical oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Gilligan can be found on Twitter @TimGilliganMD. He is also a Cancer.Net Specialty Editor for Genitourinary Cancers. Liz Salmi is the Senior Strategist, Outreach and Communications, at OpenNotes. She can be found on Twitter @TheLizArmy.

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