Views And Reviews Personal View

Patients are also people

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 01 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i1806
  1. Jacob Adashek, patient and graduate medical student
  1. Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, 309 East Second Street, Pomona, CA 91786, USA
  1. jadashek{at}

Fear of being treated differently turned out to be unfounded

Surviving acute myeloid leukemia and a bone marrow transplant at age 19 isn’t something most people do. In fact, it’s something that only 50% of people with my diagnosis and age do.1

After almost four years of living through this, my hair is much thinner and I weigh 60 pounds [27 kg] less. I’m more sensitive to sounds, tastes, and temperatures. But inside I’m still Jake. My character and sense of humor are the same. And my dreams of making a contribution and becoming a physician remain.

Different from my peers

After diagnosis I felt uneasy, different from my peers. I lived with an undefined fear. But what was I so afraid of? I spoke effortlessly about my experiences to lecture halls filled with medical students. I talked to groups of strangers to raise awareness and …

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