FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2005
Doctor Leads National Trend To Strengthen The Patient-Doctor Bond
Dr. Marisa Weiss, nationally renowned breast radiation oncologist at Lankenau Hospital in Pennyslvania and founder of web-based nonprofit, Breastcancer.org, today is honored with the cover story in Philadelphia magazine's "Top Doc" May issue for her pioneering efforts to improve patients' access to reliable medical information and facilitate stronger doctor-patient relationships. Through her award-winning nonprofit, Breastcancer.org, and in her educational video "Doctor Doctor, Lend Me Your Ear: An Up-Close Look at the Patient-Doctor Relationship" Weiss uses medical expertise, humor, and sensitivity to reach thousands of patients and physicians.
Dr. Weiss was selected for the cover from 364 physicians named as Top Docs in an eight-county area. According to Philadelphia magazine, the "Top Doc" award is given to those doctors that "other doctors say they'd turn to if a member of their own families were ill. In an era when all we seem to hear from the medical profession is grumblings about malpractice costs and too many patients, these men and women are so juiced by what they do."
Dr. Weiss' passion for her work is reflected on her nonprofit website, breastcancer.org, where women can access timely and accurate medical information about breast cancer twenty-four hours a day and in her video "Doctor, Doctor, Lend Me Your Ear: An Up-Close Look at the Patient-Doctor Relationship" which helps patients and doctors strengthen this sacred and often lopsided relationship.
"The idea is for women and doctors to understand why the relationship is so important, complicated, and intimidating and what they can do within the context of that relationship to get and deliver the best care possible," said Weiss. In the video, Weiss teaches patients to communicate effectively with their doctors in order to get the best possible care, and helps doctors address their patient's needs. Described as "a more maternal Ellen DeGeneres," Dr. Weiss delivers a sensitive and humorous take on her own experience as a patient while wearing a patient robe and socks.
"Dr. Weiss' frank and open dialogue in the video conveys her sincere devotion to her patients and to all women facing breast cancer," said Albert S. DeNittis, M.D., campus chief of radiation oncology at Lankenau Hospital, "She is a patient's advocate. Their interests come first."
Dr. Weiss is a noted leader in bringing the latest treatment options to her patients. She was the first radiation oncologist in the Philadelphia region to treat early stage breast cancer patients with partial breast radiation therapy, which reduces the patient's time for radiation therapy from six weeks to one week. The new technique will soon be launched as a national clinical trial to study its effectiveness compared to the current standard of care involving radiation therapy of the whole breast after lumpectomy.
"I wanted women from around the world to be able to benefit from the best medical treatment options available and have a safe place to go 24-hours a day, seven days a week to access timely, relevant and understandable medical information," said Weiss, "We've noticed that the busiest time on Breastcancer.org is after usual business hours, when most healthcare professionals are inaccessible."
Breastcancer.org offers over 2000 pages of original, peer-reviewed medical content and illustrations on every aspect of breast cancer, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments. The web site also provides research news and "Ask-the-Expert" conferences plus a vibrant worldwide "cyber community" featuring 24-hour chat rooms and discussion boards, where women give each other information, hope and support.
Dr. Weiss is the author of the acclaimed book Living Beyond Breast Cancer, founder of a national nonprofit organization by the same name, a frequent lecturer, repeat guest of the Today Show Breast Cancer Series, and a WebMD breast cancer professor. Dr. Weiss is the recipient of awards from the American Cancer Society, Coping Magazine, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She is an active member of the National Cancer Institute Director's Consumer Liaison Group. Dr. Weiss joined the Lankenau Hospital Medical staff in 2002.
Download the article in PDF format (4 MB).
Breastcancer.org's mission is to help women and their loved ones make sense of the complex medical and personal information about breast cancer so they can make the best decisions for their lives. The web site offers reliable, complete, and up-to-date medical information as well as a vibrant online community that includes discussion boards, chat rooms, and monthly online conferences with leading breast cancer experts. For additional information, please visit www.breastcancer.org.