Carolyn’s Top 10 Tips on How to Treat Your Patients


by Carolyn Thomas  ♥   @HeartSisters

Dear hospital employees,

After a particularly bizarre experience undergoing a treadmill stress echocardiogram at your hospital recently, I decided to do something that I have never done before.  I called the Cardiology Department manager to file a report about her staff.  (Incidentally, a recent opinion survey of international travellers found that Canadians were #1 in only one category:  “Least likely to complain when things go wrong” – so you can appreciate that lodging an official complaint is a fairly Big Deal here!)

In my friendliest PR voice, I explained to the manager how distressing the appointment had been for me because of the behaviour of the two cardiac technicians in the room.  Continue reading “Carolyn’s Top 10 Tips on How to Treat Your Patients”

I don’t want to talk about it…

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

When you get together with your girlfriends, are there any conversation topics that you believe are not open for discussion? Any that are off-limits? Any personal stories that you think are, well, just too personal to talk about to those women closest to you?

No, me neither.

Nowhere is this communication openness more visible than with our health. We generally like to share our medical news, updates on that medical news, and our opinions about each others’ medical news.  Health topics appear increasingly popular as we age (and thus have way more medical news to discuss).  It’s what my friend Dave likes to call “the organ recital”.  But when it comes to serious health conditions, do you ever wonder if all that sharing is necessarily a good thing?  Continue reading “I don’t want to talk about it…”

Tell me a (heart attack) story

by Carolyn Thomas       @HeartSisters

Before the start of each shiny new year, how I love sitting down with both my current calendar and my brand new one side by side. I like flipping through both, month by month, transferring all the important birthdays, anniversaries and already-booked dates from one to the other. For the past four years, those new calendar dates have included my upcoming public speaking events as I continue to take my WomenHeart presentations on the road each year.

Besides sharing some sobering facts and figures about the very serious diagnosis of heart disease (for example, heart disease kills six times more women each year than breast cancer does, and in fact, more women than all forms of cancer combined), my presentations are mostly facts wrapped up as stories. Women in my heart health presentation audiences may think that they’re just listening to my dramatic story of heart attack misdiagnosis and survival, but by the time I get through with them, they’ve also learned about cardiac risk factors, research, anatomy, symptoms, treatments and prevention. Research tells us that “storytelling is a vastly powerful tool.”  And here’s why.  Continue reading “Tell me a (heart attack) story”