publication date: Jul. 6, 2018

Conversation with The Cancer Letter

How the Rabson “practice” helped more than 14,000 patients in 55 years


Alan Rabson

In 2010, Otis Brawley and I were in the midst of writing a book about the state of cancer care in America.

As we were splitting up the work, I lucked out. It fell to me to call Al Rabson, then still active as NCI deputy director. I wanted to reconstruct the history of what he referred to as his “practice.”

Of course, Rabson, a pathologist, wasn’t moonlighting. But he did guide thousands of patients through the challenges of cancer.

Anyone—literally anyone—could ask Rabson for advice and a referral anywhere in the U.S., and he would interrupt whatever he was doing and try to help.

In the book, “How We Do Harm; a Doctor Breaks Ranks on Being Sick in America,” we wanted to show that decades before the term “navigator” became a part of the lexicon of oncology, Rabson was guiding patients through health systems and academic medicine.

7 hi-res Alan Rabson

A patient could call Rabson again and again—and, of course, there would be no bill.

I had known about Rabson’s practice for years, and had been giving out his email address to … Continue reading How the Rabson “practice” helped more than 14,000 patients in 55 years

To access this members-only content, please log in.
Institutional subscribers, please log in with your IP.
If you're not a subscriber why not join today?
To gain access to the members only content click here to subscribe.
You will be given immediate access to premium content on the site.
Click here to join.

Copyright (c) 2020 The Cancer Letter Inc.