Both Sides of the White Coat

Both Sides of the White Coat
March 15, 2018 Alene Nitzky
White Coat

Regardless of whether you wear regular clothing, a suit, scrubs, or a white coat, my book, Navigating the C, is for you. It has been out for about 2 months. Writing the book, I’m finding, was the easy part. Getting it into the hands and in front of the eyes of the people who need to read it is the real challenge. The freedom of authorship with a small independent publisher and online tools comes with the need to be creative in how I get the word out there. That’s okay, that’s the part I enjoy.

I am grateful for the attention the book has gotten already, see my media page for more.

I got a very special review on Amazon today, one from which I’d like to quote some excerpts, because it nails down important qualities of the book for its readership, on both sides of the white coat.

This book belongs on the home bookshelf of individuals, who inevitably will have to deal with their own immersion into periods of nebulous wrangling with medical people, places, and procedures, or wish to offer something beyond ‘thoughts and prayers’ for those close to them. Whether the reader receives unsettling news of their own health circumstances, or those close to them are facing a long and disorienting struggle, orderly assistance is offered to engage with everything to come. The team coordination required to tackle the diverse realm of a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery may require seeking lay allies or offering to be an ally in pursuit of the best medical results and quality of life during what is often a long and potentially confusing process. Being or seeking an ally should be among the first tasks undertaken, and this book provides the guidance required for either.

I would also want to see this work offered to promote better coordination and sensitivity by a broad range of health care professionals, both generalist and oncology specialists. It could easily be made part of initial or recurrent medical training curriculum for all levels of aspiring professionals…

On a very personal note, a little over a year ago, a family member was diagnosed with cancer during what was expected to be a routine medical procedure. As I read this volume, in nearly every area addressed, I identified missed opportunities to avoid failures of various kinds that could have ultimately provided a more humane, orderly experience, and possibly even a better ultimate outcome. With that context, I am confident in saying that the information made available in Navigating the C is not the kind of preparation or reference one can cobble together with Google searches or ordinary common sense. This is an effective tool that offers benefit to patients, loved ones, and the professionals tasked with serving them.

If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, I encourage you to do so. Regardless of which side of the white coat you occupy, it could save you a lot of frustration and missed opportunities. It’s a point of view and perspective not often articulated by those who work most closely with cancer patients and their families, and it needs to be heard.


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