- With Mayo Clinic oncologist
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.Edward Creagan, M.D.
"The magic of the electronic village is transforming health information. The mouse and keyboard have extended the stethoscope to the 500 million people now online." — Dr. Edward Creagan
The power of the medium inspires Dr. Edward Creagan as he searches for ways to share Mayo Clinic's vast resources with the general public.
Dr. Creagan, a Newark, N.J., native, is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice medicine and palliative care. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1973 and in 1999 was president of the staff of Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Creagan, a professor of medical oncology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, was honored in 1995 with the John and Roma Rouse Professor of Humanism in Medicine Award and in 1992 with the Distinguished Mayo Clinician Award, Mayo's highest recognition. He has been recognized with the American Cancer Society Professorship of Clinical Oncology.
He describes his areas of special interest as "wellness as a bio-psycho-social-spiritual-financial model" and fitness, mind-body connection, aging and burnout.
Dr. Creagan has been an associate medical editor with Mayo Clinic's health information websites and has edited publications and CD-ROMs and reviewed articles.
"We the team of (the website) provide reliable, easy-to-understand health and wellness information so that each of us can have productive, meaningful lives," he says.
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Pet therapy: How animals help us heal
By Edward T. Creagan, M.D.
I'm part of a palliative medicine program at Mayo Clinic. Palliative medicine is an emerging specialty that focuses on quality of life and symptom control for patients with life-altering conditions. It's closely related to the hospice movement.
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Several months ago, I was asked to see a woman in her early 30s who had suffered a devastating accident that resulted in paralysis from the waist down and a life-threatening infection from a broken bone in the thigh. She underwent multiple surgeries and was started on a complicated medication schedule. Before she left the hospital she was instructed in the importance of keeping the wound clean and how to change the dressing, and reminded to strictly follow her medication schedule. The patient was bright and clearly understood the importance of these recommendations.
Over a number of months, however, the patient returned to the hospital frustrated and in a desperate situation from dehydration and pain. Once again, she was given careful instructions, which she said she understood.
When I later visited with the patient in the outpatient setting, I saw a miraculous transformation. Hope had replaced despair, and joy had replaced anger. I asked her what had happened. She said, "I owe it all to Toto."
Toto was a dog that my patient had rescued from the local pound. This dog, in turn, helped save its owner by giving her a reason to get out of the bed every morning. Toto needed to be fed and walked. Toto had to see the vet, and so on.
Toto brought something more as well. As scientists have discovered, animals have healing powers. When you stroke a cat or pet a dog, you experience a surge of healing hormones and chemicals that produce feelings of peace and serenity.
Healing relationships come in many sizes. Some have two legs, some have four legs, and some even have fins or feathers. Do you have a Toto in your life? Share your story.blog index