We are taught at a young age that it's not nice to talk about others behind their backs, but when you are a patient with a complicated digestive disease, that's exactly what you want from all your doctors, and that's what they are doing at Avera McKennan. Every week nearly 2 dozen doctors and nurses meet in one room to come up with the best treatment plan for you.
Dr. Steven Condron is a Gastroenterologist at Avera McKennan and is just one of the doctors who regularly attend the early Friday morning Multi-Disciplinary Digestive Disease Conference to discuss complicated cases. Nurse Practitioner Jessica Morrell is the Digestive Disease Navigator.
Morrell says, "My role is to help patients figure out the system. They recently got this complicated diagnosis, they have 3,4,5,6 different physicians telling them their thoughts and opinions on their care so I'm the central point of contact to help the coordinate all that. I help them figure out who they need to see, what they need to do and what the results mean."
There can be upwards of 20 some doctors in this conference room at time from all different specialties, surgery, hepatology, medical and radiation oncology, pathology, radiology, and research nurses. Their goal is to come up with the best treatment plan for their patients and then implement that plan.
Morrell says, "Why is this in the patient's best interest? They have all these specialties in one room, face to face talking about their case and making that plan of care instead of having an oncologist say let me talk to surgeon to see what they think, leaving a message they are all there, boom, done. It's makes for a faster course of treatment."
In our next Avera Medical Minute: we'll introduce you to Dennis Thum. A lot of you may recognize him as the USF Campus Pastor. What you may not know is how he will inevitably make the medical history books. Although his case was not presented at conference, his course of treatment for a rare tumor came after collaboration between several doctors, surgeons and specialists. We hope you watch for his amazing story.