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Marcie Roth: A Patient’s Perspective on Healthcare

We hear a patient’s perspective on healthcare from Marcie Roth on this episode of the Perspectives on Healthcare podcast with Rob Oliver. Marcie lives in Maryland, just outside of Washington DC. This is interview 57 in the patient’s perspective interview marathon. You will hear me mention the fact that I’ve been going for over 15 straight hours. It seems like a long time when I said it but it is not even halfway to the end of the marathon.

Here are 3 things that stood out as Marcie Roth gave us a patient’s perspective on healthcare:

  • Immediate and accessible communication with healthcare providers is extremely valuable. It allows patients to get clarification without the need for an office visit.
  • Quality healthcare includes being treated with respect and taken seriously by medical providers. Patients need to be seen as partners in the process.
  • Healthcare Providers need to make patients feel that they are worthy of their time!

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Here is the text of this interview of Marcie Roth giving a patient’s perspective on healthcare:

Introduction to Marcie Roth

Marcie Roth: Hi Rob, I’m Marcie.

Rob Oliver: You sound much better when you are unmuted.

Marcie Roth: people might disagree.

Rob Oliver: No problem at all. So Marcie, where are you located?

Marcie Roth: Northwest of Washington, DC by about 30 miles, safely outside the Beltway.

Rob Oliver: So you’re in Maryland?

Marcie Roth: In Maryland.

Rob Oliver: Right, just making sure Maryland until today was a state that I had not had a guest from. So, But now you are at least the third person that we’ve had from Maryland, you know, and the third time’s a charm. How does that how does that feel?

Marcie Roth: I feel charming.

Rob Oliver: So, okay. So let’s jump right into this. Can you tell me about yourself and your experiences in healthcare?

Marcie Roth: I’m an older woman. I’m just turning 66. I have been working in disability rights and disability advocacy my whole life. Whole life. I have a variety of health conditions that are all related to my, as my doctor calls it, my rocking immune system. I have an overactive immune system. And so I have a bunch of autoimmune drama that occurs as a result of that. And so I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get the right mixture of what I should and shouldn’t do, what I should and shouldn’t take. And additionally, I have 2 now adult children who both have disabilities. Husband has a disability. I have a granddaughter who is 3 and has a disability. So, you know, personally, the medical system is a very big part of our lives. And as well, because of my lifelong work in disability, a lot of my professional activities have been associated with the healthcare system.

Rob Oliver: Okay. So I’m gonna make a confession here and that is, you know, I have a disability. I was working for Disability Rights Pennsylvania. And well, I was, before I was working for Disability Rights Pennsylvania, I was working for Children’s Hospital in their disability education department. And my wife and I went through in vitro and we got pregnant and with triplets. And I actually became extremely worried. I thought, okay, the chance of complication from a pregnancy with triplets increases exponentially. And so here I am, and I’m like, maybe all of the connections that I have, and maybe all of the experiences that I have are preparing me to be able to handle things for these kids when they’re born. And it actually was something that caused me to lose some sleep and some extensive prayer about that. And eventually came to the fact that I had peace to say, well, don’t worry about it, because it hasn’t happened yet. And if it does happen, be thankful for what you’ve got. And it turns out that when the kids were born, no issues at all. And you know, they were born, I think at 34 weeks, and they… it all worked out okay but that living in that world is, you and I swim in the same waters is what I’m assuming. So good stuff.

Marcie Roth: Exactly.

Rob Oliver: So can you tell me what? Sorry. I’ve been doing this for one5 and a half hours straight. I have literally not taken a break yet. So every now and then, I will ask you the same question twice. And if I do, you have a choice, you can either graciously say you asked me that already, or you can just act like out now, here we go. I’ll just answer it again. At which point I’m like, Oh, I heard this answer before. I’m an idiot. So I’ll try again.

Recognizing Healthcare Heroes

Rob Oliver: Have you met a healthcare hero on your healthcare journey?

Marcie Roth: You know, I’ve met a lot of healthcare heroes and I’ve met some healthcare zeros. But, you know, I have, I’ve had a number of the hero types along the way. My rheumatologist is, you know, this is somebody I can text. And he will immediately respond and I can ask him a question that, you know, in the past if I needed to ask a doctor a question, I had to make an appointment and wait a couple of weeks and go into the office and wait a couple of hours and then have a doctor come into the room, probably too busy and distracted, and I could ask that question and then maybe I would remember the answer and maybe I wouldn’t because I’d be so sort of flummoxed. So, you know, one of my healthcare heroes without a doubt is my rheumatologist because he has made himself available to me. And I have to guess that he is just as happy to not have to go through a whole office visit to answer a question as I am to just, you know, yes or no. And I’m also incredibly fortunate that I have a new internal medicine doctor who is shaping up to be just as responsive. And while it always should be that way, It is so great when it actually is.

Rob Oliver: So what is your rheumatologist name? So we’ll give them a give your doctor a shout out on here to say, hey, you’re doing great work.

Marcie Roth: Paul DeMarco, and he is a rock star.

Rob Oliver: Dr. DeMarco, you rock. Good job.

Marcie Roth: And, Kia Tisdale is my new internist. He rocks as well.

Rob Oliver: We we’ve got a pair of rock stars. Maybe, they can send the duet out on the road or something. So yeah, no, I’m not sending them out on the road. I’m leaving them right where you are. And yes, exactly. It took you long enough to find a good one. So we’ll leave them there.

Quality Healthcare Definition

Rob Oliver: What does quality healthcare mean to you?

Marcie Roth: Let me begin by saying I am extremely privileged to have access to any healthcare and to have insurance that covers some of it, never quite know how much. And, you know, quality healthcare to me is health care that optimizes my health, helps me to maintain my health, helps me to get back to good health, takes me seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously. I’ve had doctors shame me from a very early age. I remember being shamed by my pediatrician at a very young age. So quality healthcare I’m respectful and I’m taken seriously.

Rob Oliver: That is well stated because so many times in the healthcare arena, patients are devalued and minimized. And so, yeah, I think what you’re saying is a very powerful statement and a solid reminder.

Medical Providers Understanding Patients

Rob Oliver: What do you wish your medical provider understood about you?

Marcie Roth: You know, I thought about this and My medical providers get that I can be a good partner. And so rather than saying what I wish they knew about me, I’m gonna answer this by saying, I’m glad they know that I can be a good and knowledgeable partner in my healthcare. And that means as well that I can help them to be able to give me the quality of health care that they have the ability to offer.

Rob Oliver: What I’m hearing you say is that you don’t want to take anything less than the best that they have to offer. Is that fair?

Marcie Roth: Very fair. And I will, I’ll do my part to help them to be able to do that.

And Idea to Improve the Quality of Healthcare Patients Receive

Rob Oliver: Very cool. So last question for you is, what is one thing medical professionals can start doing today to improve the quality of healthcare?

Marcie Roth: I would say the one thing that healthcare providers can do today is check their own judgment, check their own, the tone. You know, we all get tired, we’re all overworked. You know, I’m sure that, you know, there’s a lot of frustration for, you know, on every level the, you know, the insurance industry, the, you know, all of the regulations and changes and paperwork and, you know, all those things. Things, but the one thing is help your patients to feel like they’re worth your time.

Rob Oliver: Okay. Tweetable moment. Help your patients feel like they’re worth your time. What a what a great and powerful statement. Listen, Marcie, that’s a wonderful way for us to wrap up our time together. Thank you for joining me. I appreciate your openness, appreciate your thoughts. I appreciate you and I appreciate your perspective on healthcare.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed by guests on the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast are solely the opinion of the guest. They are not to be misconstrued as medical diagnoses or medical advice. Please consult with a licensed medical professional before attempting any of the treatments suggested.

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