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Susan is the creator of MyHealthVoice.com, built upon her 20+ years in healthcare and her experiences as a caregiver and patient. She is a writer, speaker and advocate for people living with chronic or life limiting illness as well as their family and professional caregivers. Learn more - www.myhealthvoice/susanharkema/.

Being Mortal – full length feature available on Frontline (PBS)


*+-Dr. Atul Gawande’s best selling book, “Being Mortal” is the subject for a Frontline show on the state of living and dying in America. It features candid, and invaluable, conversations with physicians and patients on the subject. The web page also features several in depth articles from different perspectives and issues related to end-of-life care. Watch the 1-hour program online here. Related Book: …

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Being Mortal


*+-Title: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Author: Atul Gawande, MD My Take on this Title: In “Being Mortal,” Dr. Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Now, although, I am open to learning more about all aspects of life (it’s beginning, middle and …

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Strong at the Broken Places


*+-Title: Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope Author: Richard M. Cohen My Take on this Title: Mr. Cohen had me at the title. I want to be stronger at the spots where I’ve been weak before. His book chronicals the lives of five diverse “citizens of sickness”: Denise, who suffers from ALS; Buzz, whose Christian faith helps him deal with his …

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Being Sick Well


*+-Title: Being Sick Well Author: Jeffrey H. Boyd, MD, MPH My Take on this Title: I appreciate Dr. Boyd’s honesty as well as his practical compassion. He, not only shares stories that may reflect your own, but gives sage advice (from both sides of the stethoscope) around issues we need to hear about defining the nature of illness, surviving with dignity and …

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The Four Things That Matter Most


*+-Title: The Four Things That Matter Most – 10th Anniversary Edition: A Book About Living Author: Ira Byock, MD My Take on this Title: Here’s my second favorite book by Dr. Byock. People tend to assume that topics around palliative care mean that you’ve given up hope and are preparing for the end. However, by being aware of all of the possible …

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How Doctors Think


*+-Title: How Doctors Think Author: Jerome E. Groopman, MD My Take on this Title: Doctors are problem solvers. At the heart of what they have been trained to do, they are to figure out what the problem is and come up with the best solution. Many times, we don’t think about the fact that doctors are trained to fix us. When we …

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When the Focus is on Care: Palliative Care and Cancer


*+-Title: When the Focus is on Care: Palliative Care and Cancer Author: American Cancer Society My Take on this Title: Many people misunderstand the role, and value, that palliative care can play in their treatment plan. Different from hospice, palliative care is a whole-person approach to living with serious, life limiting illness. For many people living with cancer, palliative care has the …

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Gray Matter: A neurosurgeon discovers the power of prayer


*+-Title: Gray Matter: A neurosurgeon discovers the power of prayer Author: David Levy, MD My Take on this Title: My primary care physician asks me if I would like her to pray with me at the end of every appointment. It’s a unique doctor’s office, but I greatly appreciate (and take her up on) the connection that goes beyond my physical wellbeing, …

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Four Tips: Making the most of your next doctor’s appointment

Doctor Discussing Records With Senior Female Patient

*+-Do you love your doctor, but hate having to go to doctor appointments? We schedule them out of necessity, duty, or habit, but do you really get what you need from these precious face-to-face interactions with your most trusted health adviser? If you find yourself regularly walking away scratching your head and saying “what just happened?” then your doctor’s appointments …

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You Are the Best Medicine


*+-Title: You Are the Best Medicine Author: Julie Aigner Clark My Take on this Title: For younger children (2-6 years) and recommended by Children’s Department Librarian at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The inside cover says it all. “When mommy is sick, what will make her smile?” YOU, of course. This book is specifically written for children who have a parent …

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