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Why I became a doctor.

I became a doctor because I believed that the greatest role that I could serve was in caring for others when they are sick and in need. The joy and challenge of medicine is that the accomplishments of today are simply the building blocks of better care...

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How I maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My wife and family ground me in a sense of what is best in humanity. My time with them helps me become a better person and to stay grounded in my humanity.

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What I am known for.

I love to travel and to cook. My wife and I love to make dinners for our friends and bring back new foods, wines, and stories to our friends and their families. There’s nothing better than a great family meal with conversation filled with laughter to bring...

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What I admire about the Hispanic culture.

Hispanic culture speaks to the ability to grow and thrive in new places without losing a sense of who you are or your community. It’s about families bound together by stories, metaphors, sage advice, hard-earned wisdom, and the hope that tomorrow will provide...

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Folk Cures and Alternative Treatment Are Putting Hispanic Patients At Risk

29/08/2013 06:00am | 25191 views

As Hispanics continue their ascent as the largest and fastest growing minority group in the U.S., tension points between the healthcare and the Hispanic communities are growing as well, fueled by the lack of outreach from the former to the latter. One of the results of this disconnect is that many Hispanics still rely on folk remedies that are passed on within the community and families, or they get their medical information from other alternative, non-medical sources. There are many instances of these alternative sources within local Hispanic communities; one such organization based in the Los Angeles area attributes roughly 60% of its sales in the U.S. to Latinos – and it is betting its future growth on them.

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How is Redefining the Nature of Healthcare

14/10/2015 10:00am | 8250 views

In this video, Dr. Joseph Alvarnas, Director of Medical Quality and Associate Director in the Division of Hematology and Hemapoietic Cell Transplantation at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, shares his thoughts and insights about and how it is helping to change the conversation about healthcare in order to better equip the medical community to serve the demographic shift.

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A Hospital Without Doors

11/09/2015 12:36pm | 17411 views

If we in the healthcare industry believe that the path to good health does not begin until someone enters the hospital, we are already starting off at a great disadvantage. That’s a failed model of healthcare for all involved: doctors and nurses, healthcare providers, caregivers and patients. It’s a model that reinforces the passive patient who doesn’t question their physician or ask for a second opinion. A model that makes patients more comfortable turning to folk cures and alternative therapies instead of preventive self-screening and proven treatment methods. 

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Self-Screening Can Change Your Life

19/08/2015 03:03pm | 7891 views

Are you afraid to look too closely at your health because you’re afraid you’ll find something wrong? Ignorance may be bliss in some situations, but when it comes to your health, ignorance can put you at great risk. Living in fear of getting sick can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if you don’t take the necessary preventative steps to protect and maintain your health – and that includes self-screening for chronic diseases, especially when you are at greater risk because of age, sex, ethnicity, family history, and/or genetic predisposition. 

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Second Opinions Should Be Second Nature

21/05/2014 12:39pm | 7825 views

In my experience, it’s not uncommon for patients to be overwhelmed by the nature of their diagnosis and the implications of proposed therapy. Being a cancer specialist, it comes with the territory.


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About the Author

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Joseph Alvarnas, MD

Cancer Research Specialist, City of Hope

Since 2008 Dr. Joseph C. Alvarnas has been the Director of Medical Quality and Associate Director in the Division of Hematology and Hemapoietic Cell Transplantation at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.

After receiving his Bachelor’s of Science in biology from Santa Clara University, Dr. Alvarnas obtained his medical degree from the University of California. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Stanford University Medical Center followed by a fellowship in hematology at Stanford University Medical Center and a fellowship in bone marrow transplantation.

Dr. Alvarnas holds memberships in several professional medical organizations including American Society of Hematology, American Association of Blood Banks, and International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT), American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), European Hematology Association. He has also received the Timothy F. Beckett, Jr., Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and the Award for Teaching Excellent as a Member of the House staff from Stanford University Medical Center.