Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 106 | August 25, 2020

Difficult Conversations in Pediatric Oncology

Michelle Neier, MD

Founder Olive Tree Integrative Health

Michelle Neier

Welcome to the Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Today, we have special guest, Dr. Michelle Neier, a board-certified Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist and Integrative Medicine Physician. She has a strong interest in the medical humanities and narrative medicine. She is passionate about teaching and is a Breaking Bad News instructor at The Orsini Way. In April 2020, she started Olive Tree Integrative Health, where they understand that disease is multi-faceted, and healing includes support of her patients and the caregivers. She is passionate about her goal to help children and young adults who are dealing with chronic or life-threatening medical illnesses, as well as those children who have multiple symptoms but do not yet have a diagnosis. Dr. Orsini keeps his promise about two things, that you will be inspired, and you will learn something about communication that you can go and take home with you.

Dr. Neier shares with us why she chose Hematology-Oncology, which started early in her childhood. She shares a touching story when she started her pediatric residency, meeting a young girl with a tumor, the pin she wore that said, “Cancer sucks,” and the impact this girl made in her life. She tells us about two amazing mentors she had, and she credits them with the way she deals with and communicates with patients. The key word to be learned here today is presence. Dr. Neier gives us advice on how to speak to children about cancer. You may be surprised at what she has to say. Dr. Orsini shares a touching story about his niece, who was a premature baby, had lymphoma at 17 years old, and the words she remembers the most about what her oncologist said to her. Find out why Dr. Neier stresses to parents that, “Being a kid comes first.” She tells us a beautiful story about crossing boundaries and a heartfelt message about when you let people into your lives, they let you into theirs. Dr. Orsini talks about his “Five Principles of Patient Experience” from his book. Dr. Neier had a very successful practice but decided she wanted to be better and go back to school, so find out why she went back for Integrative Medicine. We also learn about her new business called Olive Tree. If you liked this episode, please hit the subscribe button to find out more about we do and how we teach communication. Go ahead and download this episode now!

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