- 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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July 28, 2010
Technology can extend life, but at what cost?
By Edward T. Creagan, M.D.
I recently had an opportunity to speak at a hospital in Galway, a magnificent city on the west coast of Ireland. As I walked through the main doors and down the hall, I was struck by two signs hanging from the ceiling. The sign on the right read "Admissions and Registrations," and the sign on the left said "Morgue."
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What a simple yet profound illustration of the finite nature of life. The Irish seem to grasp this more so than Americans — which perhaps explains why cemeteries usually occupy such a prominent place in Irish towns.
Modern medicine and technology can extend lifespan but only so far. Americans, however, seem to expect to be maintained on breathing machines or heart machines indefinitely. Surely this is a factor in the extraordinary cost of medical care in this country.
Every day in the hospital I see how technology can prolong life, but I also see that it sometimes means a dramatic deterioration in quality of life. Is it worth extending life at any cost — knowing that the final outcome can't be changed? I have no easy answers. I'd like to hear your thoughts.blog index