John Novack is the Director of Communications at Inspire – the organization that hosts WomenHeart’s online support community of almost 18,000 members living with heart disease. Three years ago, John approached Michelle Brandt. She’s the Director of Digital and Broadcast Media at Stanford University School of Medicine, and also the editor of the school’s medical blog called Scope. John’s suggestion to Michelle: let him help her work what he called “the voices of actual, unvarnished patients” into her publication – normally devoted to coverage of scientific and medical developments around the world. Michelle said yes.
And that’s how Scope’s monthly patient-focused series of unique personal stories was launched. Since I qualified as a contributor (an actual, unvarnished patient myself), John invited me to submit something for consideration – “I’d love a draft column by the end of March!” is how he put it.
I chose Welcome to Your New Country as my Scope submission, an excerpt from a Heart Sisters blog post that seemed to touch a nerve with the patients who read it when I first ran it here.
Thanks to both John and Michelle for helping make this happen, and most of all for being willing to share the lived experience of patients on this award-winning medical blog.
- the original 2010 Heart Sisters post from which New Country was excerpted (don’t miss the compelling reader comments there)
- other examples of Scope’s patient profile columns
- a list of my other guest posts in other publications
NOTE FROM CAROLYN: I wrote much more about what it can feel like to be “deported to the land of the unwell” in my book, “A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease” . You can ask for it at your local bookshop, or order it online (paperback, hardcover or e-book) at Amazon, or order it directly from my publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press (use the JHUP code HTWN to save 20% off the list price).