From BMJ: The BMJ’s own patient journey – Seeks to promote patient partnership by walking the talk

An interesting editorial in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) describes BMJ’s path to including patients in reviewing the articles and research published in the Journal. I hope this initiative will be successful and copied by the healthcare world.

Our new strategy aligns with our “too much medicine” and “open data” campaigns and our support for “minimally disruptive medicine.”17 The BMJ remains a journal for doctors, but with Consumer Reports, which is partnered with the Choosing Wisely initiative, we are providing input into lay versions of the papers in our “overdiagnosis” series, to promote public awareness of the commercial and technological drivers shaping healthcare. Patients’ rights are another focus. Recent emphasis has been put on the right to be empowered to self manage chronic conditions.18 Worldwide, the big issue remains the right to access good quality, affordable healthcare.

Patient partnership is a lot easier to talk about than to realise. It demands mutual respect and understanding. Our strategy is being implemented incrementally and will evolve as we evaluate its impact. But we are excited by its potential and hope readers will be too.




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5 Responses to “From BMJ: The BMJ’s own patient journey – Seeks to promote patient partnership by walking the talk”

  1. I am absolutely in favor of SPM being actively in support of “open data”. Naturally, that cannot be translated into giving out data without the patient’s protections and guidelines in mine. However, I am not aware that we have a position of “too much medicine”. Though we can be aware of the risk of over-medicating, I am concerned that a casual interpretation of “too much medicine” plays into the world of quackery, and mixes up complementary and supportive medicine with lots of nonsense.

    The notion of prescribing one medication to a huge population based on risk analysis on a part of the population is as foolish as the notion of eating to cure a cancer. Nothing is as simple and straightforward as both those notions encompass. We have the need to protect the message from SPM to be that of the empowered and engaged patient, willing and responsible to take on as much self-care and education about his health as is possible.

    Of course, this article came just minutes after I had to respond to someone who was anticipating stopping his treatment for metastatic cancer to search out hemp oil to solve his life-threatening disease. He needs medicine, and that must be balanced with his disease and his goals, and the limitation that both carry in his life.

    • Teresa Masters says:

      I am a post breast cancer participant in and 100% attribute to my character change to the positive side to my immersion within this unique organization.
      Within our cancer support group, there are two members who seek/sought miracle cures as promoted by some lacking in ethics. One is in last stages, clearly it did not work for her, and the other beginning and trying to avoid traditional for “Eastern Philosophies.” The bottom line here is and always has been, “do not miss your window of opportunity of care.” They are always welcome to participate within the support group, our group leader always encourages her to begin treatment, she resists.
      We cannot allow “the weakest link” to interfere with better communication(s) between patient and provider. Too much medicine has many causes, physicians fearing law suits for missing a single although not called for procedure. TV messages asking the viewer to ask their doctor for “The Purple Pill, must share the blame. People may be manipulated with clever ads and similar. Another factor is fear and suspicion manipulation with intent to upset usually for financial gain. There are many factors afoot here. Just because it has not done before, does not mean it is wrong. Open, honest between physician and patient is mandatory. Outcome depends upon this.
      Teresa Masters

  2. Teresa Masters says:

    Not showing in my prior comment is the group to which I attribute my post cancer positive change. Written out in words rather than a direct clickable link it is the San Diego County Cancer Research Institute. Website are its initials, sdccri dot org.
    Thank you.

  3. The BMJ asked me to review an article back in 20101 that had to do with involving patients in shared decision making on IVF. To my surprise, they later invited to write a commentary on it once it was accepted.

    Now, what they meant by “commentary” and what I meant by “hey, this is my opinion” were not quite the same, but I’ve always found it prudent to cooperate with editors and publishers. A link (access to the BMJ required for full article) can be found at:

  4. Giusi says:

    I like your initiative. I’m Italian. I represent patients with hidradenitis. I would be happy to cooperate.

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