Tango as metaphor for doctor/patient relations: Patients 2.0 – Kathy Kastner

Guest blogger Kathy Kastner gives us an overview of the Patients 2.0 session at the Health 2.0 conference. Kathy Kastner is Blogger and Curator for bestendings.com and ability4life.com

I was so pleased to have SPM president, Sarah Krug, invite me to present at Patients 2.0 – Health2.0 pre-conference.  The theme: the patient doctor relationship, and Sarah’s clever metaphor, The Patient Doctor Tango mirrored the patient journey in four stages:

  • Finding a Diagnosis
  • Preparing for a visit
  • Selecting a treatment
  • Between Visits

Sarah used the beautifully and oh so smartly-produced video that carefully and thoughtfully aligned the delicate precision, the diligence and dedication required of Tango dancers and of the patient-doctor relationship. As a video producer, Sarah totally wowed me with production values, sensitive scripting and thoughtfully chosen dance steps, as she said: ‘the Tango is a sensuous dance: I didn’t want to distract from my message’.

I was last on the roster, with one of my favourite soap-boxes: patients living lives in between doctors appointments. Certainly, I have my own experiences, opinions and judgements but – coming as I did from MedicineX, where I was privileged to be an ePatient Scholar – woah! did I come with the riches of a diverse ePatient population who rely on their virtual communities for insights from day to day experience and experiments, and for support and understanding.

Many MedX-er ePatients who are also SPM-ers have created apps based on their experience, Natasha Gajewski, creator of http://sympleapp.com/

Another, Amy Gleason, demo-ing  www.caresync.com was my co-presenter, who fielded this question from the audience:

“How do you get from ‘n’ of 1- ie patient helping patient – vs rigorous sample size” Amy’s Answer: “I spoke to hundreds of patients, so I don’t understand this ‘n’ of 1”

Meeting SPM-ers was another of a series of joyous OMGs for me throughout both conferences: Fred Trotter, Michael Millenson, Carla Berg, Casey Quinlan, Dr Alan Greene, Ms Cheryl Greene, Sarah Kucharski, Leana Wen, Catherine Rose, Leslie Kernisan.

Wearing my Walking Gallery Jacket meant I could turn my back on another Walker and be assured of a warm welcome. For me, a huge difference when playing in a tech-heavy environment.

Some right-on take-aways from SPMers:

Danny Sands (my co-presenter) : “Sometimes there are no right answers and that’s tough too.”

Dr Alan Green:  “Diagnosis is hard”

Cheryl Green: “Doctors are people: have bad days, get tired, have families”.

And from a Health2.0 volunteer, who described himself as ‘surviving several chronic conditions’

“The doctor-patient relationship is to support the patients’ inquiry.”

Amen.

Sarah’s video:

If you can’t see the video above, use link: http://youtu.be/D9JHTU7LYgM

 

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Comments

2 Responses to “Tango as metaphor for doctor/patient relations: Patients 2.0 – Kathy Kastner”

  1. Mike Gammel says:

    Interesting metaphor, but I definitely see where you are coming from with the more personalized relationship and less of strictly business mentality. Great article!

  2. Jon Lewis says:

    I have seen some doctors that are PERFECT when it comes to the patient interaction:business ratio–they “tango” quite well; I’ve also gotten the opposite end of the spectrum when a doctor asked me a series of rather unprofessional and unorthodox questions and flat out told me that it was most likely personal problems interfering with concentration and not an underlying medical issue. I received a second opinion. The response was the inverse and the doctor actually cared and wanted to help me.
    It’s a sensual dance and not all doctors can perform it, but the ones who do are the one we count on to share their insight on how they manage those doctor:patient interactions. Thanks for the info!

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