Childhood Cancer

Childhood Leukemia

Chapter 10: Forming a Partnership with the Medical Team

“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”

— William Osler, MD

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that parents and the medical team establish and maintain a relationship based on excellent medical care, good communication, and caring. Trust is essential in this partnership. Doctors rely on parents to make and keep appointments, give the right medicines at the correct times, prepare their child for procedures, and monitor their child for signs of illness or side effects. Parents rely on doctors for medical knowledge, expertise in performing procedures, good judgment, compassion, and clear communication. It is a delicate balance that spans years of trauma and emotional upheaval. Cooperation and respect between the healthcare team and parents supports children and helps them cope. This chapter explores ways to create and maintain that environment.