Fearless Chats: What Have You Never Dared to Ask?

Dr. Henry Anhalt and Liza Bernstein talk about how questions that emerge from the patient community can reveal opportunities to address the real-life challenges of living with diabetes.

Welcome to the first in our Fearless Chats series, where patients and patient advocates take the lead in asking questions, raising issues, and suggesting new approaches to the science of medicine.

In our first edition, pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Henry Anhalt, Science 37’s vice president of medical affairs, talks with Liza Bernstein, Science 37’s patient engagement manager, about the opportunities and challenges uncovered when patient communities are asked to share their experiences with managing their conditions.

A recent survey of the diabetes online community revealed some surprising things, from “never have I ever” responses about what people are afraid to ask their doctors about their diabetes, to their feelings about the stigma still experienced by people with Type 2 diabetes. This isn’t a scholarly discussion about “the burden of disease” — this is real talk about real issues confronting patients, medical professionals, and researchers in the diabetes community.

Dr. Anhalt speaks up about why he wants his patients to ask him anything, while Liza Bernstein shares very human survey responses from people with T2D who are afraid to ask their doctors certain questions, for example: “How much shorter will my life be because of diabetes?” With the incidence of T2D rising at a pace that indicates that one-third of Americans will be diagnosed with T2D by 2050, this conversation is timely, and necessary.

Stay tuned for the next episode in our series — subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss an episode.

Casey Quinlan covered her share of medical stories as a TV news field producer, and used healthcare as part of her observational comedy set as a standup comic. So when she got a breast cancer diagnosis five days before Christmas in 2007, she used her research, communication, and comedy skills to navigate treatment, and wrote “Cancer for Christmas: Making the Most of a Daunting Gift” about managing medical care, and the importance of health literate self-advocacy. In addition to her ongoing work as a journalist, she’s a popular speaker and thought leader on healthcare system transformation from the ground up.

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