Our physicians are highly trained experts in providing medical care, but it’s their patients who have “skin in the game”. This odd phrase is believed to have originated in the financial sector to describe senior investment advisors who demonstrate their confidence in a company by putting their own money (their own “skin”) into the company in order to build investor confidence. So if stock prices fall, they stand to lose – just like their clients will. Advisors who choose not to do this may be every bit as smart, but they have no skin in the game. Continue reading “Skin in the game: taking women’s cardiac misdiagnosis seriously”
When a blockage or spasm in one or more of your coronary arteries stops allowing freshly oxygenated blood to feed your heart muscle, a heart attack can happen. The faster you can access emergency treatment to address that culprit artery, the better your chances of being appropriately diagnosed. The period of time between your first symptoms and actively getting the help you need can be divided into three phases:
- decision time – the period from the first onset of acute symptoms to the decision to seek care (for example, calling 911)
- transport time – the period from the decision to seek care to arrival at the Emergency Department
- therapy time – the period from arrival at the Emergency Department to the start of medical treatment
Only the first phase is the one you have complete control over. So don’t blow it.
When I interviewed Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas* about the research paper she presented last month in Vancouver at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress(1), she mentioned her previous heart study that caught my attention.
I was surprised by her explanation from that earlier research on how some women describe their chest pain during a heart attack (2), as she told me: . .
Continue reading “Words matter when we describe our heart attack symptoms”
I’ve been fascinated by studies on why women wait so long to get medical help despite heart attack symptoms ever since the spring of 2008 when I spent way too long before seeking help for my own increasingly debilitating signs. I sometimes replay that two-week experience in my little peabrain, and I ask myself the same question being asked by a team of Harvard researchers in a new study:
“Why do women wait longer than men before seeking help even when they’re in the middle of a frickety-frackin’ heart attack?” .