Health Center News, Uncategorized

Actress Andie MacDowell Supports New Patient-Doctor Dialogue Program

By Angie Stewart

This educational program, developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, in collaboration with Canyon Ranch Institute, and RIASWorks, Inc.; and underwritten by Merck & Co., Inc., emphasizes the importance of quality communication between patients and physicians.

This program doesn’t just assist physicians with their patient interaction skills; it also provides resources for patients who are looking to improve the quality of their doctor visits. For example, for patients who are introverted and nervous, this resource suggests writing down everything you want to talk about before visiting your doctor. This will ensure no issue will be left unaddressed by the end of the visit.

This free program, Time to Talk CARDIO (Creating A Real Dialogue In the Office) is available at, where there are hundreds of videos available that provide patient-doctor communication training. The program holds special significance for MacDowell, a resident of Biltmore Forest, near Asheville, NC. Her mother suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 53, and MacDowell believes that the primary cause of this ailment going unnoticed was her mother’s fear of going to the doctor.

Dr. Shannon Dowler, medical director of the local Community Health Center, Blue Ridge Community Health Center in Hendersonville, NC, has stated she intends to have the physicians in her practices undergo the training shortly.

Is this something you think should be instituted at all health centers? Why? Let us know!