Art of Bad News with Oncologist Dr. Don S Dizon

KKH Trailer Wide


Will: Knock, knock. Hi,

knock knock. Hi. Welcome to Knock-knock. Hi, I am Will Flannery, also known as Dr. Glock Flecking. I am Kristen 

Kristin: Flannery, also known as Lady Glock. I flagging. 

Will: Wait, I think you have a better name, lady. Lady. It’s, it’s, yeah. It sounds like Regal. It’s royalty, 

Kristin: right? Yeah. Well, you know, subpar royalty, but 

Will: sure. Yeah.

I don’t know. You know, honestly, if I knew it would like turn into something, I probably would’ve chosen an easier name to say, yep. Mm-hmm. . But then it might not be as unique, you know, people, people actually think my name is Dr. Glock. I 

Kristin: know which, Um, you know, embarrassing for me, so thank you for that. 

Will: It’s fine.

You know, you don’t have to legally change your name, although if you wanted to, I’d be okay with it. I don’t think I’ll be doing that. No. Okay. All right. Well, uh, we have a fantastic show today. We do. Um, we’re gonna be talking about cancer and, uh, um, and oncology. We’re gonna talk about some a, a few heavy things, you know, uh, because cancer a lot of times is a little bit heavier.

Um, sure. But 

Kristin: we’re also gonna, doesn’t always come with the outcome you hope for, so, we’ll, we’ll get into 

Will: that a little bit, but we’re also gonna have some fun too. And, um, and I, you know, in, in prepping and preparing for this episode and, and our guest today, um, it really got me thinking about our own experiences with cancer.

Sure. Mm-hmm. , uh, so, uh, Have a history of cancer twice. And the first time I was diagnosed, what year was it? Uh, 2013. 2013. I was in, uh, med school. That was in my third, uh, actually my fourth year of med school. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . And I woke up one morning and I felt a lump in my testicle. And, um, and I, I was just a fourth year message.

I didn’t, I didn’t know a lot, uh, but I did know that my testicle wasn’t supposed to divide. Sure. Like they don’t do that. Yeah. 

Kristin: It’s not like you’re having identical twins 

Will: in there. Right. I, you, you don’t, your testicle doesn’t, for those of you may not be aware, your testicle does not try to grow another testicle that if that ever happens.

All right. Please seek medical care, which I did. I I felt it, although it did take me a few days. You may not know this, but I, I, I didn’t, I felt it af like days earlier. No. Yeah. You did tell me that. I, and I tried to ignore it. Because maybe it’ll just go away because maybe it’s, it wasn’t real. Or maybe, you know, it’s like you’re my, I was just trying to convince myself that everything was fine 

Kristin: because sometimes bodies 

Will: can be lumpy, bodies can be lumpy, uh, and just not really there.

That, that area you don’t want. Sure. Lump lumpiness. Really? Uh, there’s a few areas you don’t want lumpiness. Uh, your organs being one of them. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Uh, and, um, and so eventually though I like after several days of feeling my own testicles, um, which men are, are prone to do from time to time, um, I, I, I convinced myself.

I was like, okay, this is not right. Right. And so I went in and, 

Kristin: and it was like Christmas time, right? Like we were at my parents’ house visit. That’s righting for Christmas when, when you discovered this, and that’s right. Then when we got home, we got That’s, that’s you let 

Will: me know. Yeah. And then I went into employee health and I got an ultrasound.

Uh, or I really, they, they felt, they’re like, oh, yep, this is, this is a thing. This is something. Yeah. And uh, and so they sent me over to radiology. I got an ultrasound very quickly diagnosed with cancer 

Kristin: and it was a little weird cuz that was the hospital where you were working as a medical student. So it was like this 

Will: weird.

Yeah, so I, I basically, you know, could just like go on my lunch break mm-hmm. to go get, which honestly, I probably should have just taken the day off. That’s, uh, it’s, it’s kind of a challenging thing to experience and I, yeah. If you 

Kristin: ever are in a situation, dear listener, where you may or may not have cancer and you’re gonna go find out, I feel like just either way, just take that day off.

Yeah. Don’t try to squeeze that in, in between. 

Will: It’s, it’s a big emotional appointment, emotional thing. And, um, and I, I will say, One thing that really impressed me was the radiologist who actually was the one that broke the bad news to me. Mm. Uh, and told me, and I don’t know how much you remember, you may have just, you probably were 

Kristin: Well, I remember, but I think we had different 

Will: experiences on you wouldn’t expect it, basically, um, for a radiologist to, to do such a phenomenal job of, of telling someone they have cancer.

And so, but the radiologist, it was great. He came in and he, he sat down. and he just was very, you know, calm and, and told me, okay, this is what it is. This is, I mean, this is not an hard thing to diagnose. It was very obvious and, um, and told me what the next steps were and sent me on my way. I had surgery, like that day.

That day. Yeah. That day. The, the urologist came and talked with me and did surgery. That was the last time I, first and last time I ever actually saw the urologist. He just ? Yeah. 

Kristin: I don’t remember why we had to do it that day. Was he going on vacation or something? Or like, what was so urgent 

Will: about it? Well, well, I appreciated that though because, you know, uh, when you have.

Or told you have cancer, you kind of want it out of your body. Yep. And so I was, we were all for it. Oh yeah. Let’s, let’s just get this done. They, uh, they took my testicle out. I couldn’t use my ab muscles for a while after that. Mm-hmm. , that was, you had to wait on me. 

Kristin: Yeah. You were like a turtle on its shelf.

Dr Don Dizon: Just 

Will: I was turtled. Yes, you were turtled and, uh, on pain medicine. And, um, because the incision is kind of right in your, the crease of your leg, uh, right in your inguinal 

Kristin: area. Yeah. Which I was not expecting as a non-medical. 

Will: Yeah. Right. So, man, so it was, you thought they just went right through the scrotum?


Kristin: I mean, you’re unconscious. That would 

Will: be, you don’t need ’em anymore. Painful and probably high risk for infection. I think that’s why they don’t do that. That’s not a great spot. Yeah. Um, and so, uh, and 

Kristin: but that’s no weirder than come on than like making an incision in your lower abdomen and then just wet, like sucking them out.


Will: they kind, yeah. They kind of just pull it out through the Yeah, it does make that sound actually, I thought. So, um, that’s, that’s, uh, thank you for that. You’re welcome. That’s, that’s, now, that’s what I’ll think about every time I, I talk about my cancer is the sucking and popping . We’ll have to, next time we have a urologist on Yeah, let’s, let’s ask him about that very technical popping sound.

Does it make, whenever you pull the testicle out, I am curious. Um, I would like to know. Anyway, this is getting off the rails. So that was, that was the, uh, first cancer. We’ll save this second one for another time. Yeah. But, uh, , it was, there’s a, there’s a lot there anyway. Um, but, you know, so I was, I was thinking about this and, and, and.

You know, in preparing for our guest, who is Dr. Don Deon. Mm-hmm. , um, this is a, just an incredible guy, Dr. Don Dessan. He’s one of those people 

Kristin: that makes you feel like you’ve done nothing with your 

Will: life. Yeah. So like, listen, so he’s a professor of medicine and professor of surgery at Brown University. You may have heard of it is Right.

Director of the Pelvic Malignancies Program at Lifespan Cancer Institute. Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at LeGreta Leg, Guita Cancer Center at Brown University, director of Medical Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital and Vice Chair of Diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement at S W g Swg.

They call it swg. I know. Cancer Clinical Trials Network. Wow. You gotta like, take a deep breath. . Very, very accomplished. Uh, it was, A pleasure to, to, to speak with him. And, uh, I, I’m just real happy with kinda, um, you know, getting to hear his insight, especially as a, as a cancer patient, as a cancer survivor and as someone who went through it mm-hmm.

every step of the way with me. Yes. Um, it was really wonderful to hear his perspective. So yeah. 

Kristin: Oncologists are, are generally nice people, I think. Like they, they, yes. They just care about people. Very, em, for the empathetic part, 

Will: I’d say I learned some things, even though I don’t deal with a lot of cancer.

Really? No. Cancer, although you can’t get cancer in the 

Kristin: eye. Yeah. And then you’d probably just refer them away from you, right? I do. 

Will: That’s the scary thing. And I, I’m a comprehensive ophthalmologist, so I, we have subspecialists for that. Yes. Which is good. But, um, yep. So let’s, let’s get to it, huh? Yeah. And, uh, 

Kristin: just, uh, you know, if it’s, if talking about, um, you know, cancer, death and dying, or cancer is not for you, maybe just skip this one or skip to the end, to the, to the games.

And I think that’ll still be 

Will: safe listening. Yeah. All right. Let’s do it. Let’s do it. Here we go. Dr. Dzan.

Well, Don, thank you so much for being here. Uh, it’s a pleasure to to talk with you. I’ve seen you all on social media and um, uh, and I know that you are, uh, at Brown. Is that right? Yes. You’re at Brown and and Rhode Island. So how is it out there? 

Dr Don Dizon: You know, it’s, it, you know, it fluctuates between 60 degrees and 30 degrees and you wake up with frost on the windows, but we still have not had any snow.

And I should just say big fan, really honor to be here. Oh, well big thank you so much of you both. 

Kristin: Well, thanks . 

Will: So, shit, she takes, I, I, I take a lot of the credit for, for, uh, but, uh, you know, she really does most of the work. So I know that you’re, you’re kind of a, a big deal at Brown. Uh, you’re a professor of medicine, uh, and, um, you are the director of the, uh, pelvic malignancies program.

Right. So you’re I’m also professor of surgery. You’re a professor of surgery. Okay. Tell me about all the surgeries. 

Kristin: Put an overachiever. 

Dr Don Dizon: No, so I, I’m the one that sits in multidisciplinary meetings telling people they should be operating. 

Will: Oh, gotcha. All right. Do you have a good relationship, working relationship with the, with the surgeons?

Dr Don Dizon: I do, I do. In fact, I think, um, I was trained in medical oncology. I was trained through medicine. But a, uh, they, they gave me the appointment in surgery because, um, I help a lot of their residents and their fellows with projects. Um, so really supervise a lot of teaching. Uh, do do a ton of mentoring, uh, around research until it was kinda 

Will: a nice thing.

Were you always kind of set on oncology? Like when did you make that decision? Like you wanted to go the internal medicine route? 

Dr Don Dizon: Um, it, well that’s interesting. I actually went into internal medicine by default, cuz I ended medical school not knowing what I wanted to do. I went into 

Kristin: medical. Yeah, that’s like the catchall specialty, right?

Internal medicine 

Will: do a lot. You can do a lot of different 

Kristin: things from me. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like the undecided major in college . 

Dr Don Dizon: Well, there, you know, but there is an undecided thing you could do. It’s called a transitional year. Um, you know, then I did one those, you did that. See, see I did one of those. I, I should have done that.

But, um, you know, I, I went into medical school thinking I was gonna, I was gonna be a pediatric cardiologist. Then I did third year med school and concluded I could not stand pediatrics. And then I did obstetrics and gynecology. And one of the most incredible surgeries I sat through was an, was an ovarian cancer, um, uh, sat reductive surgery or debulking surgery.

And it was, oh wow. I, I still remember the surgeon was as short as I am. And so she was on, she was on, uh, a, you know, an elevated platform and we couldn’t see the abdomen. Internally or in Sure the pelvis. Cuz of this huge mass. It was the size of like a basketball and, 

Kristin: oh, she just, I thought you were gonna say because you were so short, even with the I could see platform, that’s where I thought that was going.


Will: the people in the or they’re good about putting, putting, putting you on a stool, like a step stool thing, right? They have those in the or. 

Dr Don Dizon: Yeah. And especially if you’re the attending surgeon and you’re short Sure. They do everything they can. They, that’s right. Do it. They accommodate. But you know, she and the fellow were talking and she just kind of reached in blindly and sort of found the stalk of this thing.

And the fellow was just saying, you, I was like, what are you doing? And she was just like, looking at him and she, he’s like, what are you doing? And I’m just standing and was like, I dunno what she’s done. And then you heard this rip Oh my gosh. And she literally ripped it out of the abdomen and then they got in there and cautery and they’re trying to prevent the bleeding and the, and it literally took like half an hour, but at the end of it, It was this the most beautiful surgical field I’ve ever seen.

The female pelvis was the most beautiful surgical field. And I was like, I’m gonna do this. And then, then my obstetrics rotation, it got kicked out of every single room that a pregnant woman was delivering in. Oh, . 

Kristin: Oh no. 

Dr Don Dizon: So I was like, I can’t do four years of this. So yeah. So then I went through things and I was like, you know, at the end I was not sure.

So yeah, by default I went into to medicine. But, 

Will: but you, it sounds like you had a good time in the, in the operating room there. I did. So, yeah. Did you, you, did you ever even think about going the surgical route? Surgical oncology? 

Dr Don Dizon: Well, you know, only one other time, and it was when I was already an attending in oncology, I moved up to Providence from Sloan Kettering.

Mm-hmm. . Um, the first time I was at Brown, cuz I’ve been here twice, but the first time I was at Brown and I turned to this, um, the guy who hired me at what’s called the program in women’s oncology. And he was a very forward thinking person. He’s, you know, offered. Obstetrics obstetricians training in breast surgery.

you know, where typically it’s, it’s a field limited to general surgeons. Mm-hmm. . So I kind of went to him and I was like, you know what, why don’t you, why don’t you train me in gyno? I know I didn’t do any ob, but you know, I could do gyno. I know the field, I know the anatomy. And he laughed at my face and said, yeah, okay.

And walked away. So that was the only other time I thought about doing the surgery. , 

Kristin: what I’m noticing is you’re very persistent. You don’t give up easily. That’s true. Well, 

Dr Don Dizon: you know, it’s, it’s just, I still, you know, you talk about those moments in medical school and it really was one of those things, it solidified the, the notion that I wanted to do oncology.

And it also solidified the notion that I actually wanted to do, um, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, cervix cancer, and, well, that’s what I call sort of the pelvic malignancies. Mm-hmm. and, yeah. And that’s 

Will: stuck. I also had a, um, a surgical experience in my obstetrics gynecology rotation, uh, during an emergency C-section.

And it was the more, most blood I had ever seen in my life. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And so shortly after that, I decided I wanted to do ophthalmology, . Um, where, where we, uh, I, I, it’s been I think five years since I’ve had any blood. In, in my search. So, you know, it’s, those things do shape us, right? It’s, uh, um, but it sounds They absolutely do.

Yeah. Yeah. All it takes is like one experience or one interaction with somebody in med school that that just pushes you in a particular direction. It’s, it’s really kind of remarkable because you can go in so many different directions, 

Dr Don Dizon: you know? Yeah, you can. I mean, I remember doing my ophthalmology elective and thinking 

Will: you did an ophthalmology elective.

Dr Don Dizon: Wow. I did. I told you brought up, I told you. I, I did. I, I looked, I thought I was gonna do neurosurgery for a bit, and I thought psychiatry. Then I was like, maybe ophthalmology. But this surgery is so precise, and it’s like, the field is so small, it’s tiny. He’s like, 

Kristin: he’s such a big guy. Doesn’t, isn’t that weird?


Will: you know, you can teach anybody to do it. Yeah. It’s, it’s, how 

Kristin: do you get the long fingers, those tiny 

Dr Don Dizon: little. I think, don’t know. It’s more, it’s like if you even have the littlest tremor, you could like take someone, die out. Literally take eye out. So I didn’t that Yes, you do have 

Kristin: a very steady hand. 

Dr Don Dizon: I didn’t have a steady hand.

That’s it. That’s, I don’t 

Will: have that. Gotcha. Well, you still get to call the shots though, as a, as a medical oncologist, like, you know, you’re, you’re really, you’re, you’re guiding the team as someone who’s had, I’ve had several medical oncologists in my, in my life with my testicular cancer, uh, diagnosis and treatment and, uh, um, they’re, you’re my favorite type of doctor, I’ll tell you that.

That’s nice to hear. Uh, well, yeah, it’s, it’s, um, and a little later on we’ll talk about kind of the interactions, you know, sometimes that you have with, uh, breaking bad news and things. But, um, sure. It’s really you do some, uh, just, just guiding. Your patients through just this very traumatic, difficult thing, uh, in, in their lives is, uh, it’s really remarkable kinda what you can do.

So, yeah. You know, 

Dr Don Dizon: it’s a longitudinal, it’s sort of like this primary care thing, but it’s, it’s, mm-hmm. , it’s uh, uh, just a far more stressful longitudinal relationship. Yeah, 

Kristin: yeah, yeah. One of our big, you know, things that we care about is humanity and healthcare, and I think oncologists really are, you know, better at that than most, whether by nature or training and just having to do that all the time.

I don’t know, but combination of both. Yeah. But you have to, to really be able to tap into people’s whole lives, not just their cancer, but understand how this affects the rest of their life as well. 

Dr Don Dizon: Yeah. I think it’s self-selective, actually. You know, there. Mm-hmm. , there are those. I remember being in residency and declaring that I wanted to do oncology, and folks were like, why would you do that?

It’s so depressing. Mm-hmm. , everybody dies, you know, and then they were going off in gi I was like, I can’t imagine anything more disgusting than having to look at people’s mouths and, you know, taking, looking at what they’re defecating. I was like, just couldn’t, I just couldn’t do it. Yeah. You know? So, yeah.

I think it self-selects. 

Will: They’re same thing with, with eyeballs, some people, yeah. Eyeball service cannot do eyeballs. So gross . And, uh, and it doesn’t bother me, but, uh, I’m sure you do, you have some tales for us from the world of oncology. 

Dr Don Dizon: Yeah. I mean, you know, I think the thing that I try to do using social media is sort of humanize the field, which is what I, I, I love about what you both do because I think still people come into, uh, to see a ca a cancer doc and it’s one of the most scary things in the world.

Mm-hmm. , what’s, what’s fascinating is that everybody looks, everybody up now, so, oh yeah. Um, it is not atypical for me to walk in and have, um, someone seeing me for their cancer and multiple people in the room, and it turns out one of those persons has found me on Twitter or seen a TikTok and just the level of comfort.

That they have because they feel like they know me. It’s, it’s a totally different spin on that. But, you know, because I realize oncology is a very scary thing. My approach has always been to, you know, just say off the bat, if I think something’s true, I’m gonna tell you what that is. And most often than not, I can walk into someone’s room.

It’s like, tell me about your cancer. What do you know? And then they tell me. And I was like, okay, here’s my bottom line for you today. You are not dying. And I say that to everybody no matter what their stage is. If I feel like they have time. Yeah. And I tell you, you’re not dying. And, you know, just the level of, of relief that comes up, and then they’re actually ready to listen.

Mm-hmm. . Yeah. So I think that’s really, really important. But yes, you know, I, I almost, you know, look at the practice of oncology, like being in this crazy, you know, acting world. You know, because you go into each room and you have to be that person for that circumstance, for that situation. Yeah. And I think that’s why so many of us, um, feel burnt out after many, many years of it.

Will: Yeah. Yeah, it definitely all those, um, the gravity of the situations that we, you know, find ourselves in, um, more you, I, and most people aren’t, uh, don’t have risk of, you know, life or death, life or death in the ophthalmology department. Um, but uh, still it, it does over time. You know, it can be, it can really weigh on you and, uh, yeah, it’s a lot of emotional.

But in going back to, to, to, um, having patients recognize you, cuz that’s, people ask me that a lot. Like, do, do your patients recognize? They always seem to think that, you know, it, it wouldn’t be a good thing. Mm-hmm. I think it’s a wonderful thing. I think it’s, it’s, it just fast tracks that patient relationship so much because they feel like they already know you, like you mentioned mm-hmm.

and, uh, and, and the comfort that you have. And I’ve only had positive reactions from patients mm-hmm. , who have seen my content on social media. Like it’s always like, they love it. They like it. Yeah. You know, and so, uh, I’m sure you probably have, have noticed the same thing. They, they enjoy seeing that side of you.


Dr Don Dizon: You know, and it’s both, you know, current patients as well as former patients. Some people I haven’t seen in years who comment on a video and was like, oh my God, how are you, you know, they won’t divulge their diagnosis or sometimes they do. But, you know, I, I, I have this tendency and I think it’s actually one of the things that, that.

kind of defines a physician in, in, in what we do. I remember people mm-hmm. , you know, I remember names. I remember people we, that I treated in the past. And when that one of those names actually shows up on social media, it’s, it’s always cool. Yeah. You know? Right. 

Kristin: But yeah, I think people develop a bond too with their oncologist if it’s, if it’s, um, you know, long it is, like you said, a longitudinal relationship.

And so, um, then when you’re, you’re done seeing the oncologist, that relationship just ends. But to be able to, um, you know, there’s a little bit of trauma bonding , I think happening. Yeah. Uh, so it’s kind of nice to be able to keep in touch. And I think people really want authenticity these days. And so having them come in and recognize you from TikTok and other places, you know, I think that just helps, um, contribute to that, that sense of you’re, you’re a real person, you know?

Mm-hmm. , I already know you a little bit, and kind of helps accelerate the, the doctor patient relationship. 

Dr Don Dizon: No, I think you’re right. And I think I’ve never had someone say, you know, I don’t wanna, I don’t want you to be my doctor because of who your social media persona is. I use it very, I a TikTok, right?

Like, I don’t like how you did that dance interpretation. So 

Will: listen, if people are okay with the stuff I do on social media, , like, like, trust me, sky’s the limit. You could do anything you want. Uh, you’re not, you know, trying to pretend you’re, you’re a thousand different specialties. So, right. 

Dr Don Dizon: Right. I mean, and I, but, but I think that’s like, you know, those of us who are in the space, We kind of have to decide for ourselves what we’re gonna do with that persona, you know?

Mm-hmm. . And some will go directly into sort of, um, you know, making fun of themselves, knowing that they’re making fun of themselves. Some people will adopt humorous, some people will adopt. You know, my big shtick is, you know, I, you know, like, I like fashion and I like medicine, so I’m trying to combine them both in a, in a, in a very unusual way, you know?

But I have noticed that just to 

Will: decide, you are, you are quite fashionable. And I’m getting a, a, a, uh, a theme with some of the guests that we’ve had and is that I am not on the low end of the stylish scale. I need to up my game for the 

Kristin: listeners. He’s here in a t-shirt and a hoodie and sweatpants. 

Will: That’s, you know, you can’t see my sweatpants.

But thank you for, for informing the audience. Anyway, I’m, I’m very impressed by how, how well you are addressed and all the videos that I’ve seen on social media. It’s, it’s, uh, it’s really impressive. I’m very much 

Dr Don Dizon: into neckwear. That’s good. 

Kristin: Yes. 

Will: It’s a lovely start. Yeah. It seems very, uh, very fancy. It’s nice the way you tie.

Yeah. Great. And then some of the ties that you’ve tied, I don’t even know how you do those knots that you do sometimes on your videos anyway. You could have a whole other TikTok channel. My, that’s exactly How about a, how about a podcast, uh, yourself on, on, you know, how to do all this. Well, 

Dr Don Dizon: see, that’s a hard, because like podcast, you don’t have the visual and 

Kristin: i’s, what am I supposed?


Will: Hard gonna get dressed. That’s right. . Well, tell me, do you, what, what kind of, uh, stories, uh, do you have from, from your life as an oncologist? 

Dr Don Dizon: Well, you know, I think one of the, I actually, um, did a TED talk about it, but most recently I’ve had a couple of people not do well for their, for their cancers.

And I tell someone, you know, at the very beginning as well, it’s like, you know, I’ll walk you through this whole process, whatever happens. And I promise to be honest with you, and you know, a couple of folks have come by and. , you know, we’ve had to say, you know, I don’t think you have alone. I think we should stop therapy.

Mm-hmm. , you know, and then they’ve been admitted to the hospital and then they make the request to see me. Mm-hmm And as much as I really feel, I do give a lot, you know, to my practice cuz I take it very seriously at the end of the day when you’re done seeing 25 patients in an oncology clinic and your clinic was supposed to end at three and you’re still there at six 30 doing notes and administrative and stuff cuz everything ran long.

you just wanna get out. And so I’ve struggled with this notion. It’s like, I just wanna leave, but someone has requested to see me in the hospital and just playing with that dilemma. And me just sort of, I could just go and it’s like, but they want me to see them and feeling like I, if I didn’t see them, I would regret that for the rest of my life.

And then having to go up and see them and just really meeting with them for that very last time. It’s so profound. And I struggled with what to say, you know? Mm-hmm. . And so, you know, for this particular person, and the thing that I’ve learned about oncology closure is one thing that’s really important for me.

So I’ll actually say, you know, thank you for letting me in your life and letting me be your doctor, and I have learned from you, and I’m, I’m going to miss you, you know, and, and then say, I’m sorry. And then, you know, just with that, I feel like we both benefited from it. So, you know, I think that’s, that’s, that’s something that I’ve been thinking about and I, and have been going through quite a bit with 

Will: recently.

What, what is the, in the moment, what is the patient’s reaction when you say that? I, 

Dr Don Dizon: you know, one of them is relief. Just to see that I actually came, that they, a request has been actually honored. But when I say that, it’s just, it’s profoundly sad, you know? Cuz they, I think, you know, you know, well there’s this whole thing about the, the sort of the war mentality, you know, in oncology it’s like, oh, mm-hmm , you’re losing, you’ve lost, you’re giving up, da, da, da.

You know? And when I say, you know, thank you and goodbye and I’m sorry, and all this stuff, it’s, it’s always, you know, they, they tend to say the same thing. It’s like, we tried, didn’t we? We tried. Mm-hmm. , right? And I’m always like, we did and you did not give up. Right. You know, and you are not giving up, you know, and so I think there is a sense of defeat that people have.

at the end of their lives. Mm-hmm. , which I, I try very hard for them not to, not to accept that as what’s happened mm-hmm. , but instead of saying you didn’t, you’re not defeated, turn that frown upside down. You . Yeah. Right. It’s not that, it’s just saying, you know, you, you, you tried and you did everything that I ever asked you to do.

Yeah. And you, you, you are strong and I’m so glad I met you, 

Will: you know? Yeah. What a fan. Just a great message to, to give to someone, you know, in that moment. 

Kristin: Yeah. So, and just like acknowledging and, and even more than acknowledging, but honoring the difficult parts and the sad parts of life. Yeah. Because that’s part of being human as well.


Dr Don Dizon: I mean, I, you know, I have to say though, it’s like I always walk out of those situations and I’m not sure if I said the right thing. Mm-hmm. , you know, even as I’m talking to you about it, it’s like I’m not sure if I said the right thing. , you know. But the other thing that I think is really interesting, I do something in clinic too, when I have to talk about news and you know, people oftentimes, even if you say you’re not dying, it’s like, how long do I have?

How long? Mm-hmm. , you know? So depending on the survey, I go, you have months, or I say you have years. But if I said to you both, it’s like, you have months. What do you, what do you both, what do you hear a number? When I say that? I hear 

Kristin: less than a year. Uhhuh. I hear like maybe six months to a year is what I hear.

Will: Yeah. Mm-hmm. . So maybe less. Maybe 

Kristin: less, maybe less. But yeah, then it, then that’s just to get to like weeks for 

Will: me. So I think, I think we know Krista would overanalyze it. I. 

Dr Don Dizon: Well, 

Kristin: you know, I, I remember once I would make you give me an actual number probably Right . Well, 

Dr Don Dizon: I remember once I had to tell this family that their mom had months, just months.

Mm-hmm. and she was very sick and they all panicked and they all just started, you know, just crying hysterically. Oh my God, she only has three months. Can’t believe you’re telling me she has three months. And I was like, I stopped them. I was like, I actually didn’t say three months. Oh, interesting. , I say months, but I think everybody is here is a number.

Yeah. They hear it. Yeah. You know, and I, you know, it’s just fascinating to me what they 

Kristin: hear. I wonder if there’s any correlation between what they hear and how long the person actually ends up living. I know there’s no way to answer that, but like, are they picking up on some, you know, subtle cues about their loved one’s health, like changes in their behavior or their, you know, how their body looks or whatever.

Uh, I wonder if there’s anything to that or if it’s just random. 

Dr Don Dizon: No, but you know, the randomness I’m, I’m really curious about is whether or not there’s a, there’s an average number, you know how they say mm-hmm. , you know, you have all these marbles in a jar and you ask like a hundred people to guess how many marbles it’s gonna be.

Average is really close. Right. What it is, 

Will: obviously it’s a skill to learn how to, to talk with people. And, uh, I think you briefly shared a story with me over email about, you know, you were, you were tasked with, uh, in a, in a, um, What kind of a situation? It wasn’t a real situation, right? It was like, uh, you were practicing how to, how to deliver news about a scan.

Go ahead and 

Dr Don Dizon: tell that. Well, no, they, it was, it was wild. It was an, an advisory meeting in San Francisco, and as part of it, they were like, Hey, would you mind if we took, uh, photographs of you? And I was like, sure. You know, what do you, what do you want me to send? They’re like, actually, we were hoping for some, you know, kind of action shots.

I was like, okay, so I’m an on oncologist. I’m not sure what you mean by action shots. . I was like, no, there’s no actions. They’re like, we were thinking, you know, why don’t you pretend you’re talking on the phone. and we’ll just take pictures of you while you do that. I was like, okay, so you want me to order pizza?

You want me to do, it’s like, just pretend you’re giving someone bad, you know, some news, like really alarming news. So I’m, I’m getting on this phone and was like, I was like, all right, this is fine. I was like, hi, can I speak with so and so? I was like, yeah. Um, I, I hate doing it like this, but, um, I do wanna review your scans if that’s okay.

And, you know, I was like, so the scan shows your cancers back and it doesn’t look like we can do surgery. And I just started with this and I was like, you know, it’s like, oh no, it’s, you know, please don’t cry. We’ll, we’ll talk about it more. I just needed you to have, I wanted you to be aware before you saw this thing, and this entire time, I’m looking at this woman and they’re taking pictures of me, but this woman is like, so into this.

And she starts to cry, . Oh no. And I’m like, you know, there’s someone on the phone, right. I’m not actually . 

Will: This is not real. 

Dr Don Dizon: Wow. You know that. But it 

Kristin: was, it is just, you must be a very convincing actor. 

Will: Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s incredible. I guess 

Dr Don Dizon: I, I mean, I can get into the role if you have me to, but you know, it’s like, I can also see twinkled, twinkled little star on the phone, so you can just take pictures of saying 

Will: that too.

as someone who’s, you know, every now and then I will have fake conversations with people while I’m filming a TikTok and it’s, it’s every 

Kristin: now and then every night, . 

Will: It’s, I mean, it’s not as easy as it looks to like, have a fake conversation on the phone because there’s a, you know, there, there, there, there are tells, there are waste.

You can tell like, oh, this is clearly not a real conversation. So that speaks to your acting prowess right there. That’s, that’s fantastic. You, man, it’s, uh, you, you gotta to, how did it turn out? Did everything go okay? You know, did they survive? Did they ? Did the person on the phone survive 

Dr Don Dizon: the person on the phone?

Totally fine. Laugh through the whole thing. Oh, 

good. . 

Will: Well, how did the photos come out? Good. 

Dr Don Dizon: Think they turned out well. Don’t. Okay. I , I think I maybe saw two of them. I don’t even know if they even used them, honestly. , it was like, I did this thing and then the pandemic hit, so Oh, gotcha. You 

Will: know, everything.

Are you the poster, the poster boy for, uh, for your oncology department? Like, are you, whenever you go to the website, are there pictures of you and these action poses? You know, no, 

Dr Don Dizon: they’re not, there are not. No , you, I’m a background guy. Background, you know, but it, it’s nice for me to, you know, travel places and, and let it, let, let everyone know that we exist as a cancer center, you know?

Mm-hmm. , you think cancer centers, you’re thinking of the big ones. You know, you see S C S F, you know, you’re thinking Sloan Kettering and, you know, so it’s nice for me to say, hi, I’m from Browns, Browns program, leg Cancer Center, or Lifeman Cancer Institute. People like lifespan. What’s lifespan? I was like brown Providence.


Will: Right. I mean, you must be, is that the only, is it the only, is it the only cancer center in, in Rhode Island? Pretty 

Dr Don Dizon: much, no, actually it’s, you know, I was mentioning that I was here before, so my first job out of when I left New York City was at something called the program in women’s Oncology at Women in Infants Hospital, Rhode Island, which is a really good program specific to breast and gynecological cancers.

I left there and went to Mass General for a bit, and then was recruited back to Lifespan Cancer Institute, which is the bigger general medical oncology and hematology program. . Yeah. 

Will: And you’ve been there for now how many years? 

Dr Don Dizon: Gosh, five years. Okay. Five years. Yeah. 

Will: Are, we’re doing fantastic work. Let’s take a break.

We’re gonna take a break. Sure. And then we’re gonna come back and we’re gonna, we’re gonna get some hands-on, uh, oncology, uh, breaking bad news, uh, training. This is gonna be great. All right. So we’ll be right back. What Dr. Deza, a big thank you to all of our listeners. This is a new show where just spread the love share with everyone.

You know, leave a rating and a review. Be honest. Like, tell us what you think. Yeah. We want, we wanna hear the feedback, we wanna hear that we wanna improve, we wanna, we wanna, uh, to have a, a, a podcast that you all love, uh, as much as we. Uh, and later on we’re gonna share some stories, uh, your own medical stories from listeners.

Uh, you can share yours, knock-knock We also have a Patreon. Come hang out with other members of the Knock-knock High community and us. And we’re over there. Yeah, we are there. Uh, early episode Access, uh, bonus episodes, including this, a whole new show. Yeah. We’re, we’re doing, uh, the, the monthly eye exam.

We’re going react to, uh, um, uh, uh, medical tv. Medical TV shows, movie clips. So check it out. Alright, let’s get back with Dr. Dazon.

Okay, we’re back with Don Deza and, um, we’re gonna, you something that, uh, Dr. Deza here is, is better equipped than like the 99% of the population out there is, uh, breaking bad news. We’ve talked a little bit about. Breaking bad news already. And, um, uh, and so what I thought we could do now is, uh, I want you to give us your, like three minutes approach to, to that interaction.

So you’re, you’re telling someone something that they don’t want to hear. What is your approach? And then what we’re gonna do is, uh, Kristen and I are going to break some bad news to each other that we have not told each other about. So it’s gonna be, uh, we have no idea, I have no idea what kind of bad news she’s gonna give me.

uh, she has no idea what kind of bad news I’m gonna give her. And, uh, and then we’re gonna have Don uh, critique us and give us some tips and tell us how we did. So Don, I’m gonna leave it up to you. So go ahead and, uh, give us, give us your few minute approach to how you do this. 

Dr Don Dizon: So I, I think that the first thing is always to ensure that you and the person you’re, you’re talking to are at eye level.

you know, and you wanna sort of e equalize it physically as much as possible. So I’m always like, you know, I’m sitting down. If they’re sitting down, I’m never standing, although I’m not that tall, I’m never standing. If they’re seated, if they’re lying down, I, you know, I try to get them to sit up so that, mm-hmm.

you know, you have that high level. The second is not to look away from people when you’re having to get bad news. Holding eye contact is a very difficult thing for a lot of us, especially when we’re the ones uncomfortable. But I think it’s really critical because you can really tell what people are.

Based on their, their eyes, you know, the, you know, I proverbial window to the soul, but I can tell if someone is absorbing what I’m telling them. If they’re freaking out or if they’re about to just fall apart, I can tell. Mm-hmm. . And by looking at their eyes, you can also then set your tone and also your delivery.

So one of the things that I always, you know, I use, it’s, it’s, it’s something I use quite a bit. I use little breaks, so I’m quiet for a bit. I don’t ramble on and go bad news, but here’s the plan and then this is outcome and then I’ll see you. No, it’s sort of like you deliver the things and you’re watching them, they’ll tell you when they’re ready.

So, so much of it is the interaction as much as it is about the news. The final thing I would say is I don’t speak in platitudes, you know, cuz I think platitudes can lead people. To become more confused than not, sort of if they’re reading their CAT scan and saying consistent with recurrence or suggestive of, you know, of cancer or, yeah.

You know, um, you know, all of these other words. If I think it’s cancer, I’ll tell you. So it’s like your cancer’s back, you know, and I don’t say, you know, things like, you know, a toxic positive comments, like, it could be worse. You know, that’s not something I’ll say. Yeah. And I’ll say, you know, these are your options currently, rather than, you know, we can do millions of things for this.

You know, really trying to provide specificity as much as possible. And in the worst case scenario, if I think someone’s going to be, someone is looking at their last few months of life, and this is always very difficult. I, I, in oncology especially, I will use the phrase, with or without therapy, you’re gonna live as long.

Because sometimes people, I need treatment because I wanna control these things, right? Which means I’m gonna live longer. At some point after 13, 14, 15 trials of therapy, it’s just working. I’ll say, you know, you only have months and with or without therapy, you’ll live as long. And that’s a very difficult line to deliver to somebody.

But it helps them put in perspective how they wanna live the rest of their lives. And that’s the important thing. Mm-hmm. , it’s like, I might think, if it’s me, I would want to know if I’m at my six month mark, cuz I’m gonna, I’m getting out of here, I’m taking my family, I’m going to the Caribbean, I’m going to die in beach where I’m gonna be happy.

But other people, like I will die in an ICU on a vent with chemo dripping into my body. That’s how I want to die. I wanna die trying. And who’s to say who’s? . 

Will: Right. How do you, what’s the first thing you say when you, when you go, you get eye level, your, your position, you’re in the right setting. Mm-hmm.

what’s, do you have like something, what’s your icebreaker? 

Dr Don Dizon: Yeah, yeah. Right. , you know, it’s actually gonna sound really Korney, but honestly in that situation, sitting down, getting eye level, looking at them, I actually start with, how are you doing? Mm-hmm. , you know, how are you doing? That’s good. Yeah. 

Will: You know, what’s them gonna see where they’re at?

Dr Don Dizon: Right? Yeah. Then, and they’ll say, it’s like, I’m okay. Just, I’m terrified of just what you’re gonna say next. It’s like, what did the scan show? You know, they’ll tell you where their mind is. No, no one’s gonna hear that question. How are you doing? Oh great. I went to the, you know, market. Now I’m, you know, I’m gonna be chicken.

That’s not that. Cuz oftentimes if it’s, it’s never a surprise if we have to deliver scans. Yeah, 

Will: yeah, yeah. Well I think also when the oncologist walks in through the door and. Gets eye level with you, and I think you get a sense what’s coming, right? Mm-hmm. , it’s like, it’s not, you’re kind of, I, I imagine patients are bracing themselves a little bit for Yeah.

For what’s coming next. So most of the time they are all right. They are bracing. Yeah. Yeah. I guess maybe sometimes it’s a surprise and that’s probably even harder, you know? Well, I mean, it’s a, 

Dr Don Dizon: I think it’s human nature, um, to, to, to be hopeful, you know, to say it’s not gonna be bad or it’s not gonna be that bad, or, you know, you know mm-hmm.

I’m not gonna hear this and that today. Um, I think we just, we wanna have hope. And so my job is no matter what the news is, that they leave the office with hope. Mm-hmm. And that’s my objective. Yeah. That’s super important. Good. 

Kristin: Well, okay. So we, we gotta get, let’s do a quick recap here. Okay. We, you get eye level.

Okay. You maintain eye contact. Yep. Uh, you, you break the ice, tell it like it 

Will: is. Avoid platitudes. Oh, 

Kristin: yes. First, first. Break the ice. Ask ’em how they’re doing. Yeah. Avoid the platitudes. Uh, what are we missing? 

Will: And just be empathetic. Yeah. You be empathetic with me when you’re giving me some bad news. Yeah.

That’s gonna be hard for you. All right. Let’s, I, I have plenty of empathy to give . All right. So, all right. You’re gonna, do you 

Kristin: think we’re ready? Tuck your on, 

Dr Don Dizon: I think, I 

Will: think you’re both ready. Okay. Let’s do it. All right. All right. Okay. You’re gonna go first here. Okay. I’m 

Kristin: going first. I’m gonna deliver some, you’re 

Will: gonna deliver some badness to me.


Kristin: I have. See, but what if you have to go up where to get onto eye left. 

Will: You know what, I’ll go down. We are, we, there’s like a, a, a foot, a foot. Different 

Dr Don Dizon: us are as high levels as I can. We’re pretty good. I mean, literally, I’m a very short person. . 

Will: That’s good. All right. 

Kristin: We’re good. Okay. Good. Me too. . All. Okay.

How are you today? Is touch allowed? Absolutely. Can you touch them? What? If you’re married to them, is it okay then? Can you assume 

Will: it’s seems like a little, little touch on the shoulder or the 

Kristin: Yes. The shoulder. Yeah. Somewhere that’s good. Above board? Yeah. Okay. Um, how are you doing today? 

Will: Um, I’m doing, I’m doing fine.

Thank you. Uh, you know, a little stressed. Okay. Um, 

Kristin: sure. Yeah. What are you, what are you stressed about? Oh, 

Will: you know, I just, uh, I I’m hoping that we’re still married after this conversation. Oh, 

Kristin: oh, okay. Yeah. I can see, I don’t know what you’re gonna tell me where you would think that. Um, okay. Well, just before I, I explain to you what I know, can you tell me just what is your understanding of how funny you are?

Will: Um, I, I mean, I feel like I’m reasonably funny. I 

Kristin: reasonably So on a, on a funny scale of one to 10, um, where do you think he 

Will: would be? I know a seven, seven 

Kristin: and a half. Does that change day by day 

Will: or is that, I feel, I feel like I’m, I have a lot of people that think I’m, I’m quite funny on social media mm-hmm.

And so I, I feel like I, I’m probably, you know, in the top, you know, 10% of funny people. Okay. 

Kristin: Okay. Well, um, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it for you. I’m just gonna come right out and tell you I am funnier than you. What? Yes. I’m funnier than you are. Um, and I also, I don’t find you that funny anymore. I’m just being honest.

I know this is hard to hear. 

Will: H what are the chances that I’m, that you’re not funnier than me? 

Kristin: Oh, um, slim to none. Mm-hmm. . Okay. Yeah, it’s a pretty conclusive finding. 

Will: Well, um, I’m not sure how to, what to say about this. You just 

Kristin: take a minute and let that sink in. Take all the time you need, but you’re funnier than me.


Will: Yeah. Is there anything I can do?

Kristin: um. You can, um, you could really try, you know, getting better jokes. I feel like they’re getting kind of stale. Okay. At this point. I mean, I’ve, I’ve known you very well for 16 years now. Yeah. I kind of have heard them all. And even when it’s new, it’s like just old recycled again. So 

Will: harsh. Harsh. But I, I appreciate, um, you being so upfront with me about Welcome this.

You’re welcome. You’re welcome. Um, and I hope most people have stopped listening to this podcast. Mm-hmm. by this point. Mm-hmm. . Well, 

Kristin: I don’t know. I think they might be agreeing with me. Okay. 

Will: That was well done. That was good. Okay. Uh, how’d you do, Don, as you did? 

Dr Don Dizon: No, I think you did pretty good. Really nicely.

I think a couple of things. You held his eyes. I saw that. He looked away. You looked away. You know, so I think that was really great. You also did something I didn’t even tell you to do was sort of, you let him lead you to the initial conversation. , you know, you actually picked up on, you know, how he was feeling, level of stress, and then you got into it.

Mm-hmm. , and then I think you, you know, the open and direct approach really did help, um, with the way you delivered that. So kudos. I, I feel, 

Will: I feel like I’m already on the path to acceptance 

Kristin: here. Well, this is, you’ve had plenty of time to realize this particular news. Okay. My two, my, okay. Okay. Alright. Okay.

Will: Kristen. Yes. How are you? 

Kristin: I’m doing very well today. Yeah. I’m feeling pretty good today. There’s good days and bad days, but today’s a good day. 

Will: Yeah. I, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s beautiful out. It’s sunny. Mm-hmm. . Um, I, um, how do you feel about my career choice? Um, well, as 

Kristin: an ophthalmologist, I feel pretty good about that.

Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm. 

Will: well, I’m going to just come out and say this. Mm-hmm. , um, I don’t want to be an ophthalmologist anymore. Mm-hmm. . and I would like to go back to residency. . Mm-hmm. in, in neurosurgery. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . I just, I feel like, um, the eyeball is, it’s so small. Okay. Um, although it, it is kind of the leader of the brain, I feel like, um, I could really expand to include much more of the central nervous system mm-hmm.

and, um, I. Think neurosurgery. Mm-hmm. is the place for me in 

Kristin: medicine. Mm-hmm. . So you see that eye as the, um, gateway drug to the 

Will: Yes. I just, I can’t deny it anymore. Okay. It’s, mm-hmm. , uh, it’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Mm-hmm. and it’s going to, um, involve a significant sacrifice for our family.

Mm-hmm. , because 

Kristin: How long is a neurosurgery residence? 

Will: Exact, I, I, I’m not sure. Roughly 15 

Kristin: years. And how much do you, um, earn in income in that, during that time? 

Will: Time, yes. Um, it’s, uh, uh, less than what I make now. Sure, sure. A lot by a lot. Uhhuh? . Um, we’ll have to sell the house. 

Kristin: Okay. Uhhuh Is this Uhhuh. So where will we live instead?

Will: Um, I don’t know. A, a nice, uh, just we got downsized just a little bit. Uh, we’ll have to sell the dog too. Oh, okay. That’s fine. . We can keep the children though. Okay, 

Kristin: good. Good. I’m Fonda. Do we have to move in with my parents? 

Will: Yes. I’m sorry. Um, is this okay with you? Um, well, there’s a 50% chance, um, I will not like it and go back to ophthalmology.

Hmm. Okay. Well, but in my, in my opinion, it’s worth the 15 years of residency training. I 

Kristin: hear your bad news. I received that. Yeah. In turn I feel like I need to. Say something as well. So how are you today? I’m fine. Okay. You feeling all right? I’m, I’m good. Okay. 

Will: Um, like a weight’s been lifted off my 

Kristin: chest. Oh, that’s wonderful.

Okay, good. Well, I just wanted to let you know, I don’t wanna draw this out any further, but I will be leaving you. Oh, okay. And I’m taking the children. 

Will: We’re gonna stop this exercise at this point. , I, I, I think, I don’t know Don. I think, uh, I think Kristen probably did better than me. Uh, well, so I don’t feel like I was prepared.

I got nervous. I got nervous, I got anxious, and you know 

Dr Don Dizon: what happens? We get anxious, we ramble, we talk. So she barely had that question. Okay. When you were already answering it. So, you know, that sort of pause we talk about that’s be okay with that happens, I think. Yeah. Yeah. But it’s hard to, because you know, when you become nervous or when you’re uncomfortable, you just wanna get out.

And the only way you’re getting out of that room is if you say what you need to say. rights. So, so I think I That’s true. I think it was, it was a really interesting thing to see, you know, cuz you knew, you knew she wasn’t gonna take it well and she wasn’t taking it well. No, 

Will: I kind of knew. No, I knew she would

Yes. Yes. 

Dr Don Dizon: So, so it was 

Will: an interesting thing to see was great. Yeah, I, I think, I think we learned some things for sure. Mm-hmm. , um, one I’ve learned that you’re scared of me. I, and that I am, and there are no circumstances to change my career. Choice of in medicine. Well, certainly not 

Kristin: to a neurosurgery residency, I think is 

Dr Don Dizon: pretty good.

That’s perfect. Fair. Anything that’s gonna take you 15 years to train ? Seriously? Every like Yes. Seriously. , . 

Will: Like, not. Okay. Um, that was fun. I enjoyed that. Oh, well, uh, Don, uh, thank you so much for joining us. This has been a pleasure. Uh, before, before we wrap up here, uh, tell us what you’re up to. What, what’s new for you?

Where can people find you? All that stuff we wanna know. 

Dr Don Dizon: Well, yeah. No, I, so, you know, I think because we’re not sure. Which direction Twitter’s gonna go. . Mm-hmm. , right? Yes. So my, my go-to has is on TikTok, so, you know, I think I would love for, for people to find me there. And then as a sort of a side side gig, I’ve started my own YouTube channel where I’m sort of posting videos.

Oh, good videos throughout that too. So find me on social media. Do fantastic. Dr. Donna stk. 

Kristin: Yeah. And for people who don’t know, what, what are you, uh, talking about on your TikTok and on your 

Dr Don Dizon: YouTube? I’m talking about the humanization of medicine. Very cool. Good topic stories from Cancer Land and also the lessons that people who’ve been through cancer have taught me to get me through the day.

That is 

Kristin: awesome. Yeah. It’s a great thing. We need more 

Will: people like you. Great interest to people. Yeah. Keep up, keep up the wonderful work. And um, again, we really appreciate you being here with us. Thank you. 

Dr Don Dizon: And it was, this was so great to be here. Good luck and continued success to you both. 

Will: Thank you.

Thank you. You too. All right. We will be right back to read your medical stories. So stick around

and we’re back. So let’s take a look at some of our, uh, favorite medical stories that were sent in by all of you, by the listeners. Uh, so we got a couple good ones today. So, um, we have a story from Rose B. She says that one of the earlier pad changes I assisted with as a new graduate. Gin med nurse. Okay.

Kristin: Wait, what’s a, what is a pad change for those of us not in 

Will: medicine? Yeah, so a pad is, it goes underneath the patient on now as an ophthalmologist. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of these. Yeah. But I, I, because I have some ideas, I remember, I, I’m pretty sure it’s, it’s what goes underneath the patient on.

The top of the bed. So they’re, they’re laying on it got like a puppy pad. 

Kristin: Yeah. Kind of. And then, and you’re potty training a dog, but, right. But, 


Will: so, but we’re a human in a bed. Right. So and so basically, you know, all the nurses will, will kind of roll the patient, remove the pad, change it to a new pad.

Okay. So that’s kind of what a pet is. Okay, got it. So, um, uh, one of this nurse, um, was on the general medicine floor. It sounds like she was, uh, doing an earlier pad change, I guess in her career. An earlier pad change and, uh, was helping a patient. Um, They rolled him onto his back, undid his pad, and got ready to clean him up.

All nice and chatty, friendly. No big deal. Like, just, just a thing that happens in, in, uh, nursing care. They 

Kristin: rolled him onto his back. 

Will: Yeah. Just so they could change the pad. Yeah. Um, and then, and then, um, just the pad under his back. Uh, you know what I’m not sure about the, I’m very concerned about physical logistics.

You are way too detail oriented here. Hey, go ahead. Go ahead. Go . So they rolled him onto his back, undid the pad, got ready to, to clean everything up and, um, we couldn’t find his penis. Oh dear. So I remember us looking at each other like, um, what. We hadn’t received any pertinent handover about this. Um, I had only seen about three penises out of work myself.

And sure I’d seen heaps but not paid attention as a student. Uh, it just wasn’t there. He had testicles. It took us about two minutes of panicked glances and smiles and just, it’s all good. My man. Before we realized we had managed to roll him and tucked his penis between his testicles and his left leg, and then the story ends with he had a, a very normal sized penis.

Oh, okay. So it’s acquiring mine. Yes. It’s, you know what, when you’re like at the beginning of your career mm-hmm. Uh, and really any healthcare professional, like, there’s, you just never know, just the strange experiences and the things that you have never seen and, and, and learn from. Mm-hmm. Like, I’m sure that nurse, I’m sure Rose learned from that experience, uh, of maybe 

Kristin: a different where to find the penis to not tuck 

Will: and roll.

Just roll. Just, I guess, yeah. I, I don’t presume to know really any much of anything about nursing care. Oh, I thought you were gonna say about 

Kristin: penises. 

Will: I know a little bit about those as an owner of one . Um, so thank you Rose B for that story. All right. We’re gonna move on to our second fan story. This is from Russa P uh, when I was a teenager.

I used to get really bad seasonal flu influenza every year and every time. It took months or longer for me to get better. Partially because I refused to skip school and my hobbies for more than a couple days. One time, I coughed so much that I ended up hurting my ribs, and it became difficult for me to even breathe.

So I finally agreed to have an appointment with a doctor. The doctor listened to my lungs and prescribed me with asthma as an asthma inhaler for one month and some other meds as well so that I could recover. Then just before I left, you were marked. There’s something weird about your lungs. I said, okay, and expected him to elaborate, perhaps tell me to go see a specialist or something.

He didn’t. He simply nodded and told me to have a good day. to, to this day, I don’t know what he meant by something weird going on with your lungs, but I haven’t died yet, so I guess it wasn’t anything serious. 

Kristin: I, it sounds like that was just his medical diagnosis. Yes. Something 

Will: weird lungs. I, I don’t, I’m not sure that’s an accepted ICD nine code.

Yeah. How are you gonna bill for that? Uh, although you can find a code like sucked into a jet engine, so I’m sure there’s something there you could code for, but, uh, that, let that be a lesson to everybody . Um, feel def ask questions. Yeah. Uh, feel free to clarify anything your doctor says. If they say there’s something weird with a vital organ in your body, feel free.

You might wanna ask about it to ask, uh, more probing questions. Yeah. About 

Kristin: that. And also for the, for the, uh, clinicians among you. Maybe just stay away from quote, something weird, just generally not 

Will: Great. So there’s something weird with your brain. . Alright. See you later. You know what, 

Kristin: how are you doing today?

are you doing okay, ? 

Will: I’m doing fine. 

Kristin: Um, I just wanted to let you know. I have been, um, taking a look and there is something weird with your 

Will: face. You you, you’ve been taking a look. You’ve been I have, you’ve been looking at me. Yeah. All right. Yeah. I, I regret ever having, uh, someone teach you how to deliver bad news.

Okay. So you can send us your stories at Knock, knock We want to hear it. So, uh, thank you so much for those two stories from Roseby and Rza P

Alright. I think that that went great. Yes. I think I loved, uh, having Don on again. You know, oncologists are special to us. Yes. Um, as the, with the experiences we’ve had with cancer. Uh, and, um, and so it was enlightening, uh, and also a little disappointing that, uh, he taught you so well. Mm-hmm. how to deliver bad news.

Mm-hmm. , because I’m sure I’m gonna be getting a lot of bad news. Over the next few weeks. Um, oh, you can count 

Kristin: on it after what you’ve put me through. Sure. 

Will: Uh, and I do think you won. I think you, oh, easily. You were more comfortable delivering bad news to me than I was, uh, to you. So, um, yeah. But it was, it was a great episode.

Uh, there are lots of ways, uh, for you all to reach us. Right? You can email us, knock dot high human You can visit us. We are on all the social media channels, pretty much, uh, TikTok, YouTube. Um, it’s, uh, uh, where else? Twitter. Twitter, Twitter. How can I forget Twitter for now? Uh, and, um, uh, you can also hang out with us and our Human Content Podcast family on Instagram and TikTok at Human Content Pods.

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Be more of a visual learner. That’s right. Yeah. At d Glock Flecking. Why did I not just do Dr. Glock? I don’t know. I don’t Does it bother you? Yes, probably does. Yeah. D Glock flecking. You know, I chose that. I did it like, you know, years ago. I know. I had no idea like why I even put the d And uh, we’re also on Patreon.

Uh, we have tons of cool perks, like bonus episodes or react to medical shows and movies. Come hang out with the knock, knock, high member community. We’re active in it. We’ll be there. We’ll be there. We’ll be, we’ll be talking, we’ll be responding and things. Uh, uh, also, you can get, you get a early ad free episode, access, interactive q and a live streams.

We are active. We are there. We are interacting. Uh, on the, yeah, come hang out with us party. Um, also early ad free episode access. That’s right. As a, as a member of our community. Interactive q and a livestream events a lot more. We’ll see. We’ll see what we end up doing. 

Kristin: Yeah. Some ideas at us, we might 

Will: take ’em.

So flecking or go to our Uh, thank you all for listening. We are your host, will and Kristen Flannery, also known as the Glock Flecks. Special thanks to our guests today, Dr. Don Dazon. Wonderful guy. Really enjoyed that. Uh, our executive producers are Will Flannery, Kristin Flannery, Aron Korney, Rob Goldman, and Shahnti Brooke.

Our editor and engineer is Jason Porto. Our music is by Omer Ben-Zvi. To learn about our Knock-knock high program disclaimer and ethics policy submission, verification of licensing terms and HIPAA release terms, you can go to our website, glock or reach out to us at Knock-Knock High. At human with any questions, concerns, or if you have like a fun medical joke.

I, I, I like jokes. Apparently. I’m not as funny as I thought I was. And so, uh, Kristen has informed me. So, yeah, I mean, you tell jokes. So help me out. I need, I need new jokes, I guess. Uh, so send them to us. Uh, knock, knock High is a human content production.


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