“Physicians are coaches. Patients are players.”

I don’t know who Stanley Feld is, but he just became my friend, with a terrific post on doctor as coach, patient as player. It starts:

The role of patients with chronic diseases and their physicians must be clear to both patients and physicians. Physicians are coaches. Patients are players.

This resonates with what’s become my favorite item from Chapter 2 of our white paper, e-Patients: How they can help us heal health care: Preliminary Conclusion #6, which is “The best way to improve healthcare is to make it more collaborative.”

It resonates particularly well with me because my own e-patient community, the kidney cancer group on ACOR.org, taught me that increasingly cancer has become not an immediate threat to life but a chronic condition.  Then, when I read Anticancer: A new way of life, an astounding idea came to my attention: cancer without disease.

Cancer without disease!

Astounding, and I’ve never heard it mentioned elsewhere; but here I am, a living example.  I still have metastases in me, but I don’t have a trace of illness.

And, thank you very much, I’d like to keep it that way.

Funny thing is, though, in my case, I’m getting more advice on how to do that (chronic management, keeping it that way) from my reading than I am from my physicians!  (Especially from reading Anticancer.)  I’ll be talking to them about that.


Posted in: positive patterns | pt/doc co-care | trends & principles




10 Responses to ““Physicians are coaches. Patients are players.””

  1. Christine Gray says:


    I love it! HC is currently undergoing a paradigm shift. This is as good a metaphor as any.

  2. @SusannahFox Link to Dave’s post: http://budurl.com/sx6p “Physicians are coaches, patients are players”

  3. […] sure to check out the e-Patients.net report to learn more about collaborative […]

  4. […] That echos last week’s post “Physicians are coaches, patients are players.” […]

  5. […] keeping our costs under control and our people healthy will require a new era of collaborative medicine.  What is collaborative medicine? It is a health-care system in which consumers and their […]

  6. ePatientDave says:

    @jayparkinson Related: Physicians as coaches, patients as players http://is.gd/ejQh

  7. Eric Rumsey says:

    “Physicians are coaches. Patients are players” (@ePatientDave) http://bit.ly/1ou2DZ

  8. […] That was a perfect expression of our 2008 post about Stanley Feld’s “Physicians are coaches. Patients are players,” echoed here in July by ICSI president Kent Bottles. (Great comments on that […]

  9. […] What the heck: two years ago on e-patients.net I wrote that Stanley Feld, MD had written “Physicians are coaches, patients are players.” […]

  10. […] simplest eye-opener view was put forth in December 2008 by endocrinologist Stanley Feld: “Physicians are coaches. Patients are players.”  You don’t […]

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