Advice for Physicians and the Multiple Sclerosis Community


The panel shares final advice for the multiple sclerosis community.

June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN: Dr Picone, do you have any last words of wisdom in terms of today’s program and the patient’s journey in MS [multiple sclerosis]?

Mary Ann Picone, MD: My last words would be optimism because I think we have more resources available, both in terms of education, support that’s out there for patients, and that their future is not bleak, as Craig may have thought of initially. Through early diagnosis, getting on treatment earlier, it’s a different path forward for many patients. That’s what I would try to say, although it is a chronic illness, there’s a lot of optimism out there. There are treatments, and many times, again, there’s that question, “Is there anything that reminds you that you have MS?” More likely than not, for many patients, the answer is “no” now, compared to “yes” many years ago.

June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN: How do you stay enthusiastic and replenished?

Mary Ann Picone, MD: Good question. I think seeing patients like Craig doing well is what really makes my day. That’s I would say what keeps me going.

June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN: I’m asking you the same question.

Craig Mainor: About replenishing, how do I feel?

June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN: Yes. You don’t want to make MS your career, right?

Craig Mainor: No. I’ll leave it to the experts here. I’m an audience member right now. I just constantly remind myself of where I was, and I’m really proud of where I am. That journey was long and bumpy. But like I said, with the team that I was able to put together and the resources I’ve kind of accumulated on my own, and some of those resources are other people who have gone through what I’m going through, and we’re constantly having this conversation. I’m furthermore energized about not only my journey, but how we as an MS community can help each other move forward.

June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN: Out of all this, I think the message is what Dr Picone said before, that if you treat one patient with MS, you treat one patient with MS. I remember over the years, there’s no cookbook recipe. And what you did, Gina, was a wonderful thing. To show that message, what happened to Craig is not going to happen to the next guy or to the next woman. That’s where there’s so much work involved. On the other hand, I think the love that you guys show to the mission that we’re all dedicated to is quite clear and quite obvious. This was a great opportunity to meet with you all today.

Gina Murdoch: Thank you for the opportunity.

Mary Ann Picone, MD: Thank you.

Craig Mainor: Thank you very much.

June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN: Don’t thank me. Thank you for sharing. Twenty years ago, probably somebody like you with MS wouldn’t want to talk about it. As Dr Picone said, when I first started, people did not want to share. So, it’s a great opportunity.

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Transcript edited for clarity

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