CHICAGO — Every time JoAnna James took her husband, Lawrence, to the doctor, she left the hospital without understanding what was wrong with him.
“You ask (doctors) to break it down so you can understand what they are saying and they make you feel like there is something wrong with you,” said James, 67.
Frustrated, the couple signed up two years ago for an experimental program at the University of Chicago Medicine. The James’ new primary care doctor explained Lawrence’s prostate cancer diagnosis and every procedure that followed until they understood each of them. “She speaks your language,” JoAnna James said.
The Comprehensive Care Program, funded with a $6.1 million federal grant, is an example of a new model of care aimed at changing the culture of America’s health care system to one where doctors treat people rather than symptoms.