Survivorship bias: when we focus only on success

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

We were sitting around with friends and family recently over some very nice red wine when our friend Noel asked a question about my weekly Toastmasters meetings, and specifically about whether I thought there are some people who simply never learn to feel comfortable speaking in public even after Toastmasters training. After a moment’s contemplation, I replied to Noel:

“I can’t really say – because those who actually feel too uncomfortable probably just stop attending after a while. But the ones who stay seem pretty happy!”

It turns out that what I was describing is essentially what’s known as survivorship bias.*  

Continue reading “Survivorship bias: when we focus only on success”

Where’s the “survivorship” model for heart patients?

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

“There may be times when the joy you feel about survival far outweighs any anxieties you may have.

“Then, there will be times when your fears and uncertainties seem to take over your life, and you wonder if you will ever feel normal again.”

This sounds so familiar to any of us who have survived a catastrophic  cardiac event, doesn’t it?

But these words were not written about heart patients – they’re for cancer survivors.  Which made me wonder about this thing known as  “survivorship” – a popular concept in oncology that defines a cancer survivor “from the time of diagnosis and for the balance of life.”

But where, I ask you, is the concept of “survivorship” for heart patients and their families? And why haven’t I found it yet? Continue reading “Where’s the “survivorship” model for heart patients?”