Today I heard from a friend who’s had a tumor discovered. S/he decided to fire the current doctor, who would not return phone messages and was “intellectually lazy” – not interested in pursuing ideas my friend brought up that might require some effort but could definitely refine the treatment plan. The whole “let patients help” idea was in my friend’s mind, and not in the doctor’s.
My friend switched to another doctor who’s much more interested in partnering actively with patients – will discuss anything and even provided his cell number!
(My oral surgeon even gave me his home number. And he answers it.)
My friend said, “I’ve been thinking about e-patients a lot lately” as this unfolded. This is his/her first episode where the e-patient awakening (from past conversations) led to taking action in an empowered, engaged way.
I sent my friend a somewhat similar story from this blog, April 2009, about a longtime friend of mine, Elyse Chapman. It’s a classic. Please read it. This newly bereaved woman faced an apparent emergency, was absolutely respectful of her physicians and willing to do whatever it took, and then simply did what she could to explore her options. The outcome is inspiring.
Please read Elyse’s story – and the comment stream. It’s fascinating to look back and compare people’s views today (around here anyway) with how our community felt 28 months ago.