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October 19, 2020 50 min

This episode features a doctor (Aaron Friedman) and a kidney transplant patient (Elizabeth Schumacher) who have developed their relationship ever since Elizabeth needed a kidney transplant as a young 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. We 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, a medical specialty association management company in Chicago in 2014. Prior to founding Affinity she served a CEO of LUGPA, a national urology subspecialty association with over 2,400 members. Liz is former Senior Attorney for the American Medical Association, and Director of Advocacy for Pfizer.. Liz began her career at age 26 at the University of Wisconsin, where she was responsible for regulatory oversight of one of the largest academic medical research budgets in the United States. A lifelong patient advocate,  Liz has testified before Congress on health policy issues and has served on many nonprofit health care boards.  Liz is a third generation University of Wisconsin Madison Badger, where she received her Bachelors, Law and LLM in Bioethics degrees.  Liz enjoys spending time with her husband Shawn, bulldog Brit, family and friends and is an avid cook and world traveler.


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