Wednesday, May 27, 2020    

A Voice For Lymphedema    

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It is a source of great frustration to patients with lymphedema that their health care providers frequently have little or nothing to offer in the evaluation and care of the medical problem.

I have been curious about this phenomenon over many years, particularly because the biology of the lymphatic system is so important to the overall health and welfare of human beings.

In 2004, I was invited by the American Association of Medical Colleges to conduct a Mini-Workshop during the course of their annual meeting, entitled Lymphatic Biology and Disease: Is It Being Taught? Who Is Listening? (Rockson et al., 2004) To prepare for that small symposium, we collected the data in the accompanying figure. As can be seen here, it was very disheartening to learn that, 10 years ago, more than half of the practitioners educated in North America were exposed, during their formal pedagogy, to nor more than 30 minutes of education on the entire lymphatic system during a four year learning experience.

Not much, to my knowledge, has changed in the intervening 10 years. It is imperative that our medical education system embrace this all-too-vital bodily system, so that the millions of individuals afflicted by lymphedema and all of the other lymphatic diseases can hope to experience knowledgeable and directed health care, today and in the future.

REFERENCE Rockson, S. G., et al., 2004. Lymphatic biology and disease: is it being taught? Who is listening? Lymphat Res Biol. 2, 86-95.

Alberta Lymphedema Association
2406 - 10 Market Blvd SE
Airdrie, Alberta
T4A 0W8    Canada

Contact: Diane Martin
Tel: (403) 281-9205

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The Alberta Lymphedema Association relies upon your support to continue its work to promote awareness and education of Lymphedema within the medical community and general public of Alberta.

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#87318 3503 RR0001

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