Back from the USA!

I have just arrived back after the most fantastic four days in Washington with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. I was there to be trained in how to deliver their Survivors Teaching Students (TM) programme in the UK, and to attend the OCNA annual conference. The training was lively and excellent and I now have to work on the materials we need and developing contacts in medical schools.

More than 300 women from across the USA attended the conference. They all wore teal and many had travelled very far to be there. It gave me an insight into the US health system, the limitations of US health insurance and the very different doctor patient relationship that exists in the US. I met women who had postponed vital treatments because they could not pay for them, and others who were reluctant to test their BRCA status because a positive result could stop them being eligible for future cover. We have a lot to be grateful for with our NHS.

I have taken away a strong appreciation of their energy and discipline (conference days ran from 7am to 8pm!) and their confidence and determination when campaigning. And the teal clothes, jewellery, hair colour, doggy coats, hats, bags, eye makeup, lollipops lipstick...

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5 Replies

  • All sounds good to me!! Best wishes love x G x 8-)

  • Hi Ruth, it is good to see you return with such positivity. Hopefully your experience will prove beneficial to the provisions made here for OC patients. I have a number of friends in the States and healthcare is a big topic at the moment. The downsides you have touched on and they do give a new appreciation for what we have with the NHS. It may have flaws but it remains an incredible asset.

    Welcome back!

    Andy x

  • Hi Ruth

    Sounds like a really worthwhile,interesting trip.


  • Glad to hear that it went so well Ruth. Thank goodness we have the NHS.

    Love Mary xx

  • What a wonderful experience, Ruth. I was talking to someone from (ex, now i think?) Mount Vernon Cancer Network, who was just getting involved in GP training and I was talking to her about the possibilities. I've also spoken to Emma, the CNS at Southend Hospital about this. I think it could really make a difference if patients can speak about their path to diagnosis, the personal touch is often so much more effective than the textbook.

    So glad you had such a rewarding time. Look forward to hearing more! :-)

    Love Wendy xx

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