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This page lists testimonials from people who have experienced benefits of some of the methods described on this website.


A UCSF oncologist describes one of the benefits for doctors of having patients prepare a list of questions with a Consultation Planner: "They can ask their questions. If I just know a little bit about where they’re coming from [before I see them], I can already design [my presentation] in a way that works for them."
August 17, 2008 
A UCSF oncologist comments on the UCSF Breast Care Center's question-listing or Consultation Planning service: "I think it’s definitely helpful to have a list of questions that are foremost to the patient’s mind in front of you when you start talking to them, because then you make sure you cover those things."
August 17, 2008
A UCSF oncologist offers her perspective on the Breast Care Center's question-listing program: "I think when a patient comes to a visit, they are often overwhelmed with collecting information about their cancer and the treatment options, but they don’t have an organized plan about what information they want to come away with. The consultation planning service helps them formulate their questions so they know what questions they need to clarify about their disease.
August 17, 2008 
A UCSF patient who received our Consultation Planning, Recording, and Summarizing services writes: "I have reviewed the notes. Great job Amy!! I wish I had you there for all my appointments. You caught some stuff that escaped me -- it's always harder being the patient and trying to absorb all this and retain it when you are under a lot of stress. That's why, usually, I have a close friend or family member with me at appointments.Mainly concerned that you get the evaluation that I filled out so that the folks at UCSF know how helpful this is for the patient and what a nice job that you did. Believe me, I have seen many doctors and had many evaluations and your contribution to this process together with the doctor's expertise made it the most productive meeting I have had to date with any medical professional.Thank you very, very much."
August 15, 2008
Regarding UCSF distribution of video decision aids, a patient writes: "I really liked the clinical presentation of the video. It was emotional and intellectual. You could tell that they had thought through this before because there were a lot of trigger points and all of the emotional issues they addressed were very specific to breast cancer...It really helped my anxiety too because the presentation was so well organized. Going onto the internet to look up information is so overwhelming and scary because you don't know if you're reading 'good' information, and I don't have the skill set to apply it to my situation and to digest all of it."
August 15, 2008
A UCSF patient writes: "What a great service UCSF is providing to their patients! This is a trying time and to have so many help along the way, is just great. Andrea and I had a phone appointment that she kept on time, compiled all my thoughts and questions, gave the doctor and I a copy during my time with him, recorded all that we talked about and they has sent me a written detail of the appointment. What a great service!"
August 15, 2008
A UCSF patient writes: "I admit that I was not sure of the value the Consultation and Planning Appointment would add to the process for me and for my husband. But once we sat down and met with Yiwey - it was clear that he and your process would be invaluable. I run a business and supervise many young people, like Yiwey. He is an exception and a colleague of great value."
August 15, 2008
A UCSF patient writes: "I was completely unaware of this service. Meredith spent an hour on the phone with me, brainstorming questions to ask the breast surgeon. My mom and I were so grateful for her presence during the consultation appointment. We were very impressed with the consultation summary that she later provided to us, along with the CD recording of the session. Thank you for providing this service to patients."
August 15, 2008
A UCSF patient writes: "This was an invaluable service. It was so incredibly helpful to be able to brainstorm questions with Meredith. I really appreciate her efforts. Thank you, Meredith. It was wonderful to know that she was in the room, taking notes and providing an audio recording. Thanks!!!"
August 15, 2008 
Wow! The planning session helped TREMENDOUSLY! Not only in helping me make good decisions, but also organizing my thoughts and calming me down! Thank you John (UCSF Consultation Planner)! I greatly appreciate you!
April 4, 2007
SCOPED - have done this as a patient and it saved me! Feels much better to make a decision this way. I can live with it and move forward.
May 15, 2006
Dear Dr. Jeff Belkora,
Please note that we had the pleasure and aid of Dan who is working under your program of Consultation Planning Services.
My husband and I had an appointment with Dr. Y at the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion.
Our consultation appointment was followed by the doctor appointment. Your staff member helped us with all our questions and then wrote them up in a clearer form (wording etc.)
My husband and I both had a print out copy along with another one for Dr. Y.
The appointment with Dan helped us both relax better and have the opportunity to slowly form our questions, etc.
We felt like we had the opportunity to ask all the questions we had talked about and meant to remember.
YES, to your program.

Plus, we are pleased that we will get the print out of the questions and answers, etc. that took place during our appointment.
That will be especially helpful to us and also our family.
Several times during our appointment I started to drift and then relaxed because I know that we would be getting Dan's written report of everything that was said.
August 12, 2005
I found your services extraordinary. Is there anyone who needs to receive a letter assessing its value?
Having the chemobrain makes going to the doctor's office difficult and confusing. Your template and personal clarity zeroed in on my questions, much better than I did by myself.
I told my cancer group about the service and all 10 people in the room were very impressed and wished they had such help.
Thank you very much.
August 12, 2005
Thanks so much for the consultation plan. I printed a few copies out for my mom. We're both very grateful for your help. I know this will help her stay focused and get the results she wants and needs from her visit. This is a difficult time for us but people like you are making it easier for all of us. I think this visit will be a critical one to have her ideas documented and a path for the appointment so that she makes good use of her time.
August 12, 2005
Thank you so much for your help in planning my meeting with the doctor. It went well and I did have my friend take notes as well as record the discussion. Thanks again for your encouragement, patience, and guidance - it really helped!
August 12, 2005
I was very impressed with the service in putting together questions and concerns before I met with the Doctor.
I would highly recommend this service to anyone going through the process of meeting with a doctor.
I so much appreciate having all my questions written and recorded and the help with the questions was great as well.
Thanks for a great service!
August 12, 2005
It was indeed a big help to have a medical appointment plan that is well organized. May you continue to be there for us and our families.
August 12, 2005 
My husband, Lee, had just had a colonoscopy before we visited my son Clint in California. This was in 1999. The surgeon who performed the procedure gave us the results in one sentence. "You need to have your colon removed." We asked if we could wait until after our trip to California (we live in Iowa). He thought that would be OK. While in California, Clint put us in touch with Jeff who sat down with us and drew out a whole schematic or flow chart with all the questions that we needed to have the doctors answer before Lee had his colon removed.
When we got home we started with our general practitioner. He sent us to an internal specialist for a second opinion. We showed him our flow chart of questions that Jeff had prepared and he could see that we had done our homework. As a result Lee's condition has been able to be treated with medication, not surgery. This was six years ago. Lee just had a check-up this spring and medication is still saving his colon.
Without Jeff's guidance and help in decision making, Lee would probably have had to live with a colostomy for the past six years.
August 12, 2005
My wife, Bailey, and I were faced with difficult decisions regarding the pregnancy of our twin girls. At the time Bailey was 35 years old and we were having a difficult time making decision regarding the level of medical intervention we were willing to accept during the pregnancy and birth. For most twin births a cesarean is recommended but Bailey wanted to deliver naturally. At the very least, an epidural is standard procedure during labor but Bailey did not want to cloud her or the childrens birth exeprience with drugs. These choices were in contradiction with common western medical practices and we were warned that we could be jeopardizing the health of both mother and children. Jeff helped Bailey and I incorporate our desires with hard medical facts to decide on the right path forward for our family. In the end, Bailey naturally delivered healthy twin girls without an epidural and with very little medical intervention except the care of a highly skilled doctor. Jeff helped us structure this decision in a way that gave both of us the confidence to procede down the path that was right for us. I have no doubt that this confidence was an integral part in the successful birthing of our twin girls.
July 30, 2005