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The Bob Arnot Interview (Page 3 of 3)

An Interview with Dr. Bob Arnot

I think the one thing that we, in the media, fail to sell patients and their families on is how incredibly powerful medications are; they really can slow, stop, and reverse disease, but you have got to take them on a regular basis.  They make a very big difference, especially in what we call secondary prevention.  Every single person that is taking secondary prevention is doing something directly to decrease their chance of having a second heart attack.

GB: I often say that you can fire your doctors, but they cannot fire you.  What can you do when you find yourself and your loved one not getting the best care you think the system can offer?

BA: I am a very big believer in disruption. I had a case a few weeks ago when I got a call from a wife.  Her husband had severe heart disease with a blocked left anterior descending, and he was just sort of languishing at this hospital. I called one of the top hospitals in New York and arranged for a transfer within the hour.  So you need to look at disruption.  As you say, you cannot be afraid of being fired by your doctor or being fired by the hospital.  You are going to get a lot of pushback.  You are going to be told you are not the doctor.  I was actually told, “You are not a cancer doctor.” I said I had talked to the six best specialists in the country on this and still they couldn’t have cared less.  I mean, it was just the most miserable experience.  I got a really terrifying firsthand look at just how unbelievably hard it is to be a caregiver. 

GB: If you had only one piece of advice to share with a family caregiver, what would that be?

BA: Be fearless. We are very involved in this whole idea of medical outcomes and it takes someone to be a disruptor to say, “Hey Mom, hey Dad, we are going down the wrong path here.”  You cannot believe the amount of bravery and fearlessness that it takes to go up in the face of local professionals who are telling you different.


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