First of Many
This constitutes the first of what I hope is many entries in our new heart blog (that’s a “web log” for those of us in the over-30 crowd). I am Dr. Van De Graaff, a cardiologist with the newly created CHI Health Heart and Vascular Specialists practice, and you can read more about me on our group web site. I should say straight away that my comments in this blog obviously represent my opinions alone and are not representative of the opinions or positions of CHI Health.
I feel it is important to have a local online forum that allows us to discuss various topics in cardiology and vascular medicine that are pertinent to our patient population. It seems that nearly every month a heart-related subject bubbles to the top of the popular media. Often, these spikes in popular interest translate into confusion or concern among patients, and many come to us for answers or our opinion. Examples include the sudden heart attack death of political commentator Tim Russert last summer, the failure of a common cholesterol medication to show superiority over a cheap generic, and concerns about the safety of a defibrillator wire. I often find that certain aspects of each of these stories are either over- or under emphasized and believe it must be difficult for the average person on the street to cut through the rhetoric and find the real story. Some subjects of great importance, such as health care reform, are not discussed enough and deserve a brief highlight every now and again.
Goal of this Blog
Consumers of health care services get bombarded with information from family, friends, magazines, TV, and the internet (and, occasionally, health-care professionals). Your job as a patient is to sift through the often contradictory advice and formulate an understanding of the problems that afflict you. I hope on some level that I can address a subject, sift through the noise a little, and provide you with an opinion that is relatively unbiased and straight-forward. Of course, I want you to judge how close I come to achieving my goal. With each of my postings I would encourage you to respond with your comments, criticisms and questions, and to let me know if there are any subjects you’d like me to address.