His message of mindfulness, hope and wellness has been honed by a career of deeply altruistic and patient centered care. The public was blown away by his message, his delivery, his humor and his heart.
– Living Beyond Cancer, Public Event
Edward T. Creagan, MD, FAAHPM, is a medical oncologist and hospice and palliative care specialist who practiced at the Mayo Clinic for more than forty Minnesota winters until his retirement from active medical practice in late 2018. He is professor emeritus of medical oncology at the Mayo Clinic Medical School where he held the endowed chair as the John and Roma Rouse Professor of Humanism in Medicine, and he is now Emeritus Professor of Humanism in Medicine and an Emeritus Consultant in Palliative Medicine there. He was named Outstanding Educator from the Mayo Clinic School of Continuing Medical Education and has received the Distinguished Mayo Clinician Award—Mayo Clinic’s highest honor. He completed an elected term as President of the Mayo Staff.
Dr. Creagan was the first Mayo Clinic consultant board certified in hospice and palliative medicine. He is also board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr. Ed (as he is known) received his medical training at New York Medical College and earned graduate degrees in internal medicine and oncology at the University of Michigan and the National Cancer Institute before joining the staff at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
In 2015, he received the Ellis Island Medal for contributions of descendants of immigrants. He is the author of over 500 scientific papers and has given more than 1,000 presentations throughout the world, including his home state of New Jersey. As an accomplished speaker, his presentations to both professional and consumer audiences are notoriously funny yet filled with useful lifestyle information on such topics as the healing power of pets, preventing stress and burnout, and surviving retirement. His presentations have such appealing titles and motivational content as Dr. Ed’s 8 Commandments for Living Well, How to Live Long Enough to Cash In Your 401(k), and How to Talk So Your Doctor Will Listen. He is available to speak to corporate, consumer, and medical groups and invites inquiries.
With coauthor Sandra Wendel, he is the author of the fully revised second edition of his triple award-winning book, How Not to Be My Patient: A Physician’s Secrets for Staying Healthy and Surviving Any Diagnosis (www.HowNotToBeMyPatient.com). His most recent book titled Farewell provides answers to the vital end-of-life questions patients and families ask.
This Mayo Clinic physician/author of the book How Not to Be My Patient brings a message of health and wellness to his often humorous talks, each one tailored for the specific audience. Edward Creagan (known as “Dr. Ed”) speaks with authority, passion, and a view from inside the exam room, so participants learn to talk so their doctors will listen. This talk is recommended for a company’s wellness day or a conference for colleagues who work in the health field.
He confides in groups about what doctors didn’t learn in medical school, and he lists his 8 commandments for healthy living—so attendees really will live long enough retire with plenty of vibrant living left. As a cancer specialist who has had over 40,000 patient encounters at one of the nation’s premier medical institutions, the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ed is like the kindly Marcus Welby who made house calls. In a changing medical care system that is miserably broken, he empowers patients to be their own quarterback because, then, he knows we can all thrive and survive any diagnosis.
[A variation of this talk would take a more focused approach to dealing with cancer survivorship with messages about taking charge of medical care, making the best decisions in the face of dread disease, and putting yourself in a position to survive any diagnosis. He discusses the best choices in alternative care, why patients need advocates at all times, understanding the diagnosis and asking the right questions, and preparing for whatever comes next in terms of advance directives and healthcare surrogates. He also addresses the trials and tribulations of the caregivers for loved ones with cancer: their special health risks.]
“I have dedicated my life to death,” says Dr. Edward Creagan. As the first board-certified palliative and hospice physician at the esteemed Mayo Clinic, “Dr. Ed” has been present at the bedside for more than 40,000 patient encounters. Patients and their families ask poignant questions and deserve candid answers, which is why he wrote a book entitled Farewell.
In his talks to hospice and patient/family caregiver groups, as fundraisers for hospice programs, and for healthcare providers who work with patients at the end of their lives, he examines death from an acutely emotional perspective as events beyond our control unfold. He answers the questions most asked, such as what is death, how long will I live, should we turn off life-support systems, should we begin them in the first place, what if family members can’t agree on care, and other profoundly painful questions asked when someone is facing the last moments of life.
In an increasingly confusing sick medical care system, sometimes the victims are the healthcare providers themselves. Institutions are experiencing record numbers of burnout among staff and tragic suicides. Dr. Edward Creagan of Mayo Clinic knows how the system contributes to stress and burnout with the pressure to see more patients, to navigate a perplexing EHR, to be caring and healing with too many outside pressures to perform.
Dr. Creagan addresses healthcare teams across the country with a message of hope and help and understanding and with practical tips to make life-affirming healthcare decisions for themselves—so healthcare teams can provide the caring and healing in their chosen professions.
No one doubts the healing power in a beloved dog or cat. That animal/human bond has been forged forever, and almost miraculous healing can be found as our furry friends become part of the healthcare prescription. The aging with Alzheimer’s often speak only to animals. Petting a pet can lower blood pressure. Children learn by reading to dogs in the classroom. Pain is lessened if a four-legged “doctor” is nearby.
Dr. Creagan, a palliative and hospice specialist and cancer doctor at the Mayo Clinic, has often prescribed pets for his patients. His loving message comes from the heart of a doctor who has a houseful of rescue animals (and one wife). His talk is ideal for fundraisers for humane societies and animal rescue groups.
“Engaging, sincere, makes the audience feel at home, articulate, master of communication, listens to his audience. He knows how to please his audience, great eye contact. And great speaker. A must have.”
“Dr. Creagan was well prepared and delightful as a presenter. He engaged the audience and had attendees laughing and strategizing throughout his presentation. Respondents overwhelming gave highest marks for both presentation skills and content.“
“Dr. Ed is a rare and compassionate soul who shares his very human experiences as a Mayo Clinic oncologist with his riveted audiences. He is a brilliant physician and an insightful philosopher who has changed many lives with his wisdom, his humor, and his unique sense of wonder.”
“Pragmatic, relevant and humorous, Dr. Creagan presents thought provoking content that is more than educational, it is actionable.”
“Through gentle humor and powerful personal stories, Dr. Creagan demonstrated how physicians can open doors to honest communication with their patients to enhance the quality of care - entertaining and enlightening!” “
"Dr. Creagan has an uncanny ability to engage the audience using a combination of humor, storytelling and poignant reflection.”
“Witty, articulate and engaging, sprinkling just enough humor throughout his presentation to keep guests at rapt attention, Dr. Creagan’s grasp of the subject matter is beyond compare, and he clearly is passionate about the work he does.”
KEYWORDS: Health & Wellness, Caregivers/caregiving, disease prevention, end of life, grief & loss, hospice, life balance, longevity, stress, Business of Healthcare, Leadership, Peak Performance, Population Health, Service