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Harriet - Interview 1- Jewish Health

Age at interview: 55
Age at diagnosis: 20
Brief Outline: Harriet was originally diagnosed with ovarian cancer aged 20 and though she has had some long periods of remission, four recurrences later she remains both vigilant and positive.
Background: Harriet is a management consultant and is married. Ethnic background/nationality' Jewish/Russian/Polish

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Harriet compares the approach of British and American doctors - she thinks that British patients...

Harriet compares the approach of British and American doctors - she thinks that British patients...

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 While I was under the care of the [hospital] I remember having some real issues with the difference between the way consultants and doctors treated patients in this country and the relationship that I had with them in the United States, which to me was much more human at the time. In the USA a patient was able to talk to her physician, ask questions, challenge and be part of the healing process, where in Britain, patients were expected to be good listeners and do what they were told. I found that very, very challenging.

 
I remember asking my first UK consultant why I should trust him with my life when I got to hospital, and [laughs] his reaction was anything but positive as far as I was concerned. He was trying to blind me with science, which he couldn’t because I understood all his big words, and I wondered why he felt I shouldn’t I be able to ask him what he knew. However, I got good medical care. I don’t want to fault the care, and after about fifteen years, they cut me loose. They said, “Well you’re done. You’ve survived fifteen years. It’s not going to come back. You’ll be fine.”
 
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