Michele Rubin, APN
Michele Rubin, APN
What motivated you to specialize
When I began as a new nurse at the University of Chicago Medicine, we had a multidisciplinary team committed to helping UC patients manage their challenging disease and participate in research to find a cure and better their quality of life. I realized I wanted to be a part of this team and help patients realize they are not alone and do not have to be ashamed and hide their suffering from others. I found my passion in caring for these patients and recognized they needed caregivers who could empathize and understand what they were experiencing in their day-to-day life with the disease. I wanted to be that caregiver who would listen and be their advocate.
My Personal Motto:
You have to move out of your comfort zone in order to reach your greatest potential.
What is the greatest challenge many
of your patients with UC face?
I find patients often don’t really understand remission. Many continue to settle for having abdominal pain and a high number of bowel movements and think they’re in remission or they feel “good enough.” They start accepting this “new reality” of being sick and may settle and not strive to feel better or achieve more in their life.
Number of countries visited:
Culinary tour of Italy.
In treating patients with UC,
what is your biggest challenge?
UC is still poorly understood by patients and practitioners. Beyond poor bowel health, patients living with UC face a breadth of other challenges, for example, feeling isolated with their disease, uncertainty about what to eat, and navigating intimacy issues. We need to make sure practitioners understand these challenges so that all aspects of the condition can be treated. We need to “just ask” and then “listen” to our patients.
What advice would you give
a person living with UC?
Come to your clinic visits prepared with questions and let your GI know what’s important to you – invest time in finding a knowledgeable GI with a comprehensive patient support offering. It’s very important to leave with all your questions answered. By discussing your fears, emotions, and disease management goals in clinic visits, you will further optimize the quality of the time you spend with your practitioner.
Beyond a cure, what is your number
one wish for the UC community?
I hope patients will be able to see that their UC does not have to define them. They are more than their disease! They can focus on other aspects of their life and can do the things that they enjoy and focus on their quality-of-life goals.