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The Healing Power of Music When one thinks of an Oncologist it is often with fear and trepidation, unless the Oncologist is Dr. Steven G. Eisenberg. Dr. Eisenberg takes great pride in his ability to ease the high level of anxiety faced by patients suffering through a diagnosis of cancer. Often Dr. Eisenberg is the bearer of bad news, having to inform patients that they have a potentially life threatening illness. When he does so, he also comforts them with the knowledge that he will do whatever he can to work towards a positive outcome. Dr. Eisenberg’s story was recently covered by NBC news when they heard about his unique approach. One of his patients, Lauren, was a young woman diagnosed with Breast Cancer. When she first came to see him he promised her that he would be with her every step of the way on this frightening journey. She says the doctor's compassion helped her get to where she is today – cancer free. What makes Dr. Eisenberg unique is that he listens to his patients. However, he takes it one step further: He spends time with his patients, learning all he can about them and then he writes them a song. The songs are not about their medical condition, but instead they are about their lives. Focusing on living and not dying is often the key to emotionally dealing with a sometime dismal diagnosis. Dr. Eisenberg is the founder of The Lyrical Life Foundation which helps bring the joy of music to those who need it most. As Dr. Eisenberg stated, “The Lyrical Life Foundation has been a dream of mine since 2005. The mission is that every cancer patient has a song that speaks to their power and contribution to the world, the ‘song of their soul’ if you will. I believe that participating in the creation and then hearing "your song" can greatly contribute to a better quality of life before, during and after cancer treatment. Or even if one decides not to be treated. Patients have told me that they experienced a deep sense of validation and a peaceful feeling that the song will be heard by their friends and families for a long, long time.” Dr. Eisenberg’s vision of what can be accomplished through his foundation proves how much he cares about each patient and wants them to live on in the hearts and minds of loved ones even after they are gone. “This nonprofit will allow friends and family (and anyone) to be ‘record producers’ for their loved ones. The dona-

tions will provide a wonderfully produced CD of the original song, and 50 percent of the donation goes to cancer research for their particular disease. The website will allow people to become producers and will be a living archive of all the songs (with family permission). People can log on and listen to their song and read their lyrics anytime.” “Lastly, I envision a Lyrical Life benefit concert where all the friends and family come together and celebrate life. We want people to get how great they are while they are with us. That could make all the difference in the world. A world captured in a simple song.” Dr. Eisenberg is a Diplomate, American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology. He received his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. After receiving his doctorate, he completed an Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Hospital Consortium and was named Chief Intern. Even while training it was obvious that Dr. Eisenberg put importance not only in his medical training, but also took interest in every one of his patients. He was the first recipient of the Emanuel Fliegelman, D.O. Humanitarian Award for the doctor exhibiting highly compassionate care during residency. This compassion has come through in yet another way. In addition to his medical practice, which is spread throughout the North County with offices in Poway, Escondido and Vista, Dr. Eisenberg sought out yet another way to spread his medical expertise and caring spirit. Dr. Eisenberg wanted to help patients in the final journey through life. He researched the possible options and found the best way for him to do so was to join LightBridge Hospice and Palliative Care. He contacted Jill Mendlen, the founder and CEO, and was soon helping to care for the patients in Hospice while bringing a smile to their faces with his customized songs. Dr. Eisenberg signed on as an associate medical director for LightBridge Hospice. “He brings a clinical skill and emotional skill that is just amazing,” said Jill Mendlen, Founder and CEO of LightBridge Hospice. "He's a true gift." Jill Mendlen and the staff at LightBridge aren’t the only ones to recognize the dedication and concern Dr. Eisenberg shows. He has recently been nominated for best bedside manner at Tri-City Hospital. I was personally treated to a sample of Dr. Eisenberg’s talents when he responded to an email I sent for some additional information in order to write this article. I was honored when he shared a bit of his talents with me:

March/April 2011


Judy's got a cool magazine She's an editorial machine Cranking it out for the gals of SD Now she's gonna write 'bout me Jill's the one who hooked us up All the way full is her hospice cup An article; now that's generosity Judith's bubbling with curiosity

San Diego

Woman

Thank you Dr. Eisenberg for all that you do for those who need you most and for reminding us all how important it is to enjoy the melodies of life

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March/April 2011

The Healing Power of Music  

Dr. Steven G. Eisenberg co-writes songs with his cancer patients.

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