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Dr. Schaeffer on how patient interactions helped inform prostate cancer book


“I've always felt like my patients are my partners in discovery,” says Edward M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD.

In this video, Edward M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD, discusses how his interactions with patients helped him with co-writing the fifth edition of the book “Dr. Patrick Walsh’s Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer.” Schaeffer is chair and Harold Binstein Professor of Urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.


How have your interactions with patients informed your writing?

The initial collaboration between Dr. Walsh and Janet Worthington really began and was built off of this idea that we want to empower patients to understand what they have, and be better consumers. I think an empowered consumer is somebody who can take control of their own health in a more informed, thoughtful way. That, in part, was the impetus for the first edition of the book. And then, over the course of time, we got tremendous positive feedback from those individuals saying, "This is great. It helped me so much in that journey map." And I've always felt like my patients are my partners in discovery. They're my partners in discovery of the disease, how it can be cured, how it may progress, but they're also my partners in terms of how to communicate advances in this field in a way that's understandable for them. Because you may solve the problem, but if you can't explain it to somebody, it's not really helping the situation. That's where our patients come into play. That's where Janet Worthington comes into play. She's just a master at translating the cold, hard facts that we know exist in science into into a language that's understandable for our patients. And so it's it's been a really fun process and very helpful and I think it will be very informative for more and more patients today.

This transcript was edited for clarity.

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