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Palliative Care and the Waiting Room Revolution

The third season of the Waiting Room Revolution just dropped. (https://www.waitingroomrevolution.com/podcast) and it is as awesome as ever. I ran across this subversive podcast a few months ago and while I have talked about it I haven't posted about it. Until now.

Every patient facing serious illness should listen to this (and cancer is perhaps one of the most serious illnesses there is!) The first season will take about four hours to listen to. It should be mandatory listening for every patient and caregiver. Dr Sammy and researcher Dr Hsien Seow tried for years to talk to doctors and change the health care system. Based in Quebec (I'm tempted to talk about the hotbed of revolution) they decided they needed instead to give the information to patients so they could change the system from the bottom up. It was revolutionary information for me and has totally transformed my relationship with my oncologist. And for those of you that know me that's saying something.

In the first season they share seven keys to managing serious illness. The keys are:

  • Walk two roads
    Some of you have heard me using the phrase “Hope for the best - Plan for the rest.” It comes from here. How to be realistic and hopeful.
  • Zoom out
    We all need the big picture but most specialists can't do it. Good patient care requires it though.
  • Know your style
    We all have our own ways of doing things. Doctors don't know this and have to work within their limitations. Know what you want.
  • Customize your order
    Standardized care is how the health care system handles the volume of patients. Knowing where to ask for some personalization though is key to making treatment work for you.
  • Anticipate ripple effects
    Serious illness can affect many others beyond the patient. Expecting this and preparing for it goes a long way to making the road easier.
  • Tag you're it
    As I listened to a patient this morning describing learning to use his own lung drain tube I realized he was talking about this. Often we are given jobs that we really hadn't expected. Sometimes they are too much. Knowing that can make it easier to advocate.
  • Invite yourself.
    Learning to speak up may not be for every body. In that case you need to find someone on your team who can do that.

I haven't done any justice to the podcast with my notes. Each one describes how the key works in about fifteen minutes and then through an interview with a patient or caregiver expands and show exactly how it can make a difference in managing a serious illness. That by the way is their definition of #palliativecare not "end of life" or “pain and symptom management” but simply managing serious illness.

Good stuff. Listen. It's available on every podcast platform that I've checked. Then let me know what you think. Are you in on the #waitingroomrevolution ?


8 Replies
1572 Posts

@WestCoastSailor - thank you so much for the link to this podcast. I would like to listen to it.

36 Posts

I downloaded it . Thank you.

329 Posts
Thanks WestCoastSailor‍ Angus. And I love your new hairdo!!
56 Posts

Will check out this podcast And get back to you. Thanks for suggestion

498 Posts



always looking for interesting podcasts…




Thank you so much for sending this. I will make it a priority to watch it. Nice pink hair.

Okay folks you have had a chance to listen. What do you think? Is it as good as I think it is?

I participated in a zoom call with Hsien Seow and he was just as amazing in person as he is in the podcast. The call was sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets.

I'm following Dr Sammy on Twitter as well. Such valuable contributions…

Love to hear your reflections?


669 Posts

Ok will do the listening , being time off and thanks to bring it to my atte tion .

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