Balancing your own research with your doctor's advice

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Balancing your own research with your doctor's advice

Well parents, and even the patients, if they're old enough, when they hear what the diagnosis are, it doesn't take them very long to get feedback on what this is all about. And, even hearing about treatments, prognosis and all this. They get that feedback from multiple sources. They hear it from friends. Well meaning, feeling that they want to do something, that they feel helpless. So, they give them information that they may know. They may get it, certainly, from their family. They may get it from the web. They may get it from magazines. All sort of sources that they get information from. I tell families, and, again, kids who are old enough to do that, "That's okay. Bring it to me. Tell me about it. Give me a chance to comment on." If you're going to read it you want to know is this real or is this important or does it relate to me. Bring it to me and let me comment on it. And, if I don't know the answer, I'll find out the answer for you. I think that's really important. It's part of that importance of developing a strong, trusting relationship with that child and the family. It's also very important, obviously, to be sure you give them the best advice you can about the validity of the information. Because, they can go on a goose chase. Or some other terrible thing people go get treatments that are not valid at all, and they don't get the regular treatments. And then they get into real big trouble. So, you want to give them best advice as a physician, that you owe to them. About that information. Is it valid? Is it not valid? I've had teenage patients, college students, coming to me with their pile of references. Literally, pile of medical references they've taken off the net. And, hand it to me and say, "What do you think of this?". That's a challenge. But, I have to tell you, it tells me that that kid is really invested in their treatment. And, they want to hear the answers. And, it's important for me to be able to give them answers and to take their request seriously.

See Stuart E. Siegel, MD's video on Balancing your own research with your doctor's advice...


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Stuart E. Siegel, MD

Director, Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases, Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Before recently shifting his focus to international medicine, Stuart Siegel, MD, was Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology for 35 years and the founding director of the the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Professor and Head of the Division of Hematology-Oncology Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. He remains a leader in supportive care and research in pediatric oncology, with a special focus on neuroblastoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Ewing Sarcoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors. From developing the first pediatric protective environment in 1971 for children undergoing intensive chemotherapy, to pioneering current efforts to develop academic and clinical care programs nationally and locally for adolescents and young adults with cancer, Dr. Siegel’s contributions have revolutionized the field of pediatric oncology. Dr. Siegel has been honored for his work by the American Cancer Society, Children Foundation, the Cancer Foundation, the Chase Foundation, Padres Contra El Cancer, the Israel Cancer Research Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he is a member of the National Board, and has consistently been listed among the nation’s top doctors in such publications asAmerica’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America. He is a father of one son, Joshua; grandfather of David and Elijah; and lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife of seven years.

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