Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Michael Buoncristiani, November 7, 2019

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:11 - General background

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Partial Transcript: Hello, my name is Hannah Thompson. I'm a biology major with minors in writing, rhetoric, and digital studies and cognitive science. I'm pursuing medicine as my career and I'm very interested in the intersection between medicine and literature.

Segment Synopsis: Michael Buoncristiani discusses growing up in Monticello, Kentucky and how the culture is different from that of Lexington, Kentucky. He also provides details about his family relationships.

Keywords: Appalachian Career Training in Oncology (ACTION); Biology; Cancer in Kentucky; Family; Leiomyosarcoma; Monticello, Kentucky; Physical therapy; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Families.; Monticello (Ky.)

00:05:07 - Medicine in Monticello, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Please describe what medicine was like in your hometown.

Segment Synopsis: Buoncristiani describes what medicine is like in his hometown of Monticello, Kentucky. He describes the health disparities that are present in his community, such as lack of medical providers.

Keywords: Appalachia; Appalachia health disparities; Eastern Kentucky; Health disparities; Lexington, Kentucky; Markey Cancer Center; Medicine; Monticello, Kentucky; Rockcastle County, Kentucky

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.); Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Monticello (Ky.); Rockcastle County (Ky.); Rural health services; Rural health--Kentucky

00:07:54 - Appalachian Career Training in Oncology (ACTION)

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Partial Transcript: When did you first hear about the Appalachian Career Training in Oncology program and why did you apply?

Segment Synopsis: Buoncristiani explains how he was first introduced to the ACTION program and applied for it. He describes his experience with ACTION thus far.

Keywords: ACTION Program; Appalachia; Appalachian Career Training in Oncology (ACTION); Cancer; Cancer in Kentucky; Chris Prichard; Dr. Nathan Vanderford; Dr. Vanderford; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Cancer; Cancer--Research; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Oncology; Rural health services; Rural health--Kentucky

00:11:39 - Cancer in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Now that we've discussed your background, we will now discuss cancer and its prevalence in Kentucky. Please tell me about the first time you remember learning about cancer.

Segment Synopsis: Buoncristiani explains that he was first exposed to cancer through his grandfather's diagnosis. He also describes some of the reasons for why Kentucky has such high rates of cancer, including cultural attitudes.

Keywords: Appalachia; Cancer; Cancer in Kentucky; Eastern Kentucky; Education; Fatalistic mindset; Health disparities; Knowledge; Leiomyosarcoma; Preventive healthcare

Subjects: Cancer; Cancer--Research; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Oncology; Rural health services; Rural health--Kentucky

00:17:17 - Barriers to healthcare

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Partial Transcript: Do you think the culture of Appalachia has played a role in any of these statistics?

Segment Synopsis: Buoncristiani describes barriers that cancer patients face, such as transportation issues, distances to treatment centers, and food insecurities. He also describes the impact of these barriers on one's care.

Keywords: Appalachia; Appalachian Career Training in Oncology (ACTION); Barriers to healthcare; Cancer treatment; Eastern Kentucky; Fatalistic mindset; Food insecurity; Health literacy; Healthcare disparities; Hope Lodge; Language barriers; Markey Cancer Center; Patient Advisory Group; Patient resources; Prevention; Preventive healthcare; Resources; Transportation

Subjects: Cancer; Cancer--Research; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Oncology; Rural health services; Rural health--Kentucky

00:26:50 - Lung cancer in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: We will now shift our discussion to focus on the prevalence of lung cancer in Kentucky. Kentucky is ranked second in the country for the most smokers in the U.S. According to the CDC, Kentucky also has the highest rates of cancer deaths caused by tobacco use. What do you believe can be done to diminish the prevalence of smoking in our state?

Segment Synopsis: Buoncristiani describes the prevalence of lung cancer in Kentucky and some of the reasons why Kentucky has such high rates, such as smoking. He also describes strategies to diminish the popularity of smoking and the importance of addressing it differently for different generations.

Keywords: Appalachia; Cancer; Cancer in Kentucky; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Coal industry; E-Cigarettes; Eastern Kentucky; Environmental causes of cancer; Knowledge; Lung cancer; Medical research; Pride; Smoking; Tobacco; Tobacco farming; Tobacco use

Subjects: Cancer; Cancer--Research; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Oncology; Rural health services; Rural health--Kentucky

00:43:02 - Personal experience with cancer

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Partial Transcript: With the high rates of cancer in our state, I believe almost every person has known someone who has been diagnosed or affected by cancer like you were saying earlier. I for one have had several family members and I know you have too. Can you please describe what it was like when your grandfather was first diagnosed with lung cancer?

Segment Synopsis: Buoncristiani describes his grandfather's experience with cancer and how it has impacted his family. He explains the challenges his grandfather has had, such as traveling to Lexington for treatments, and the importance of resources for cancer patients, such as the Hope Lodge.

Keywords: Barriers to healthcare; Cancer; Cancer in Kentucky; Family support; Grandfathers; Health disparities; Hope Lodge; Leiomyosarcoma; Lung cancer; Medical resources; Positive outlook; Support systems; Transportation; Wayne County, Kentucky

Subjects: Cancer; Families.; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Oncology; Rural health services; Rural health--Kentucky; Wayne County (Ky.)

00:55:19 - Strategies to minimize cancer in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: To conclude the interview, we will focus on the future of cancer treatment and the future efforts to minimize the incidence of cancer in Kentucky. Throughout this interview, we have discussed many efforts that we both think will diminish the prevalent rates of cancer in our state. Out of those, which you believe is the most important and why?

Segment Synopsis: Buoncristiani describes tactics which he believes would diminish the high rates of cancer in Kentucky, such as education and outreach. He also describes how physicians and medical providers should address the culture and beliefs of patients from Eastern Kentucky.

Keywords: Appalachia; Appalachian Kentucky; Awareness; Cancer; Cancer in Kentucky; Cancer research; Cultural beliefs; Culture; Dr. Rita Charon; Eastern Kentucky; Empowerment; Fatalism; Knowledge; Markey Cancer Center; Monticello, Kentucky; Outreach

Subjects: Cancer; Cancer--Research; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical care--Kentucky; Monticello (Ky.); Oncology; Rural health services; Rural health--Kentucky