How to Create a Rewarding Reciprocal Relationship with your Doctor

Amy Thomasson
December 01, 2020

Last month, Affinity Strategies’ CEO, Liz Schumacher, was a guest on the Healing Together podcast in an episode entitled, “Befriending the Doc: How to Create a Rewarding Reciprocal Relationship with your Doctor.” The last month of the year is often a time to take stock of the relationships in our lives and to display care and kindness to those around us, which is why we want to encourage you to check out this episode if you haven’t already.

The episode features doctor, Aaron Friedman, and a kidney transplant patient, Liz Schumacher, who have developed their relationship ever since Liz needed a kidney transplant as a teenager. The evolution of their relationship over more than 35 years demonstrates how doctors and patients can experience bi-directional benefits as they get to know each other beyond the immediate healthcare situations. They discuss what it’s like to be a pediatric patient in an acute care situation, the difficulty of “graduating” from pediatrics to adult care, ways to deepen the doctor-patient relationship and the benefits of doing so, and what it’s like to live in a pandemic while taking the kind of immune-suppressants required of a transplant patient in a state of chronic organ rejection. 

Dr. Aaron Friedman completed his internship and residency in pediatrics and his pediatric nephrology at the University of Wisconsin, then joined the Department as a faculty member for 23 years, the last 10 as Chair of Pediatrics, before moving on to Brown University. His last position before retiring in January 2014 was Dean of the Medical School at the University of Minnesota.

Elizabeth Schumacher has been living with chronic kidney disease for 35 years. A three-time kidney transplant recipient, Liz turned her personal passion for advocacy into a lifelong career supporting patients and medicine. Liz founded Affinity Strategies in 2014, because for her, healthcare isn’t a business, it’s a cause. Liz’s experience has impacted every aspect of Affinity’s business, and her personal passion is a key differentiator in the care and service we provide to our clients.

As Liz says in the podcast, “I know what risks I’m comfortable with and what risks I’m not. I’ve become really entrepreneurial. When I thought about opening my own business, I thought that’s not a lot of risks. That’s nothing compared to what I’ve been through.”

Listen to the inspiring story of the relationship between Liz and Dr. Aaron Friedman here.