Lahey Clinic is known for its “team approach” and “coordinated care." However, sometimes people wonder what that really means. Lahey patient George Busch, MD, of Bedford, Mass., is a great example of how a team approach often results in extraordinary outcomes and a superb patient experience.
Dr. Busch had been healthy all his life, but, in 2008, that all changed dramatically. It started with a sore throat and hoarseness in his voice that he couldn’t shake. Dr. Busch eventually visited Lahey Clinic’s Emergency Department in Burlington to find out what was going on. The ER team referred him to an otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) specialist who suspected thyroid cancer. Dr. Busch was then referred to a thyroid surgeon who confirmed the diagnosis and quickly removed the tumor.
About a year later, a new mass was discovered on Dr. Busch’s lung during his routine check-up. It was then that he was referred to Carla Lamb, MD, director, Interventional Pulmonary Medicine, Lahey Clinic. Dr. Lamb removed the mass and performed a biopsy, which came back positive for lung cancer. Dr. Busch was then introduced to Christina Williamson, MD, a Lahey cardiothoracic surgeon who specializes in lung cancer surgery, who performed a minimally invasive procedure to remove the upper portion of his lung.
Over the course of two years, Dr. Busch has seen six Lahey specialists regularly. All remain engaged, informed and in contact with him and each other regarding his care. But, as Dr. Busch explains, there’s more to his story, “There were other people involved, too. The anesthesiologists, radiologists, and pathologists who have been involved in my care. They’ve been in the background, but they’ve played an extremely important role. For example, Dr. Lamb sends me for a CT scan at 10:30 in the morning, and when I meet her at 1:30 in the afternoon, she has the results. That’s just wonderful to have that kind of coordinated care under one roof. All the doctors reading the same records and being up-to-date on whom I saw last and how I was doing. I mean, that’s very reassuring.”
Despite two frightening diagnoses and multiple surgeries, Dr. Busch is thriving and enjoying life today. “I’m living every day as best I can. I’m not dwelling on any issues, and I feel like my health issues are under control. You know, I’m lucky. I mean, I’ve been well taken care of, but I’m also lucky.”