What If All Chronically Ill Patients Were This Engaged In Their Health

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This video is an excellent testimony of what a truly engaged and knowledgable  patient with chronic diabetes looks and sounds like.  Kudo’s to the Mayo Clinic for sharing this wonderful piece about Shared Decision Making.

Pay particular attention to the fact that the patient in the video was being treated for 8 years for her diabetes by her primary care physician before being referred to a clearly “patient centered” Endochronologist.   Also note her belief that a patient centered approach to chronic care management probably results in shorter, more productive visits in the long run.

5 responses to “What If All Chronically Ill Patients Were This Engaged In Their Health

  1. This video describes a Utopian state, that many diabetics and even the typical doctor patient communique is yet to achieve. Her description of the healing perception is dead on, most of the time a patient goes to the doctor with the aim of being healed and why not, they are healers after all. The problem lies in the perception of the doctor about a patients own empowerment in their health and this leads to skepticism and downright dismissal of any issues related to the medical care of said patient.

    It is time for doctors to understand that the new age patient is just as educated about their disease, especially chronic sufferers like diabetics as the doctor would. While I may not be a medical professional, living with diabetes 24-7 for the past 13 or so years has made me somewhat of an expert on diabetes and my physician should understand that. The movement is in its infancy but it is gaining ground hopefully we can achieve a level of communication alike to what’s seen on this video.

    • Ronnie the poor diabetic,

      Thanks for your thoughts! You are absolutely dead on with respect to how a physician’s attitudes towards a patient can color every aspect of how the deal with that person, from the how much health information they provide, the words they use, the intensity of the the treatments they prescribe, how much they listen and respond to the patient, and so on. My own doctor did this to me just the other day and I was really angry at how he pigeon-holed me as non-compliant.

      You are also correct about your level of personal expertise with respect to your diabetes. You have lived in your own body long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. People are lucky to have the benefit of your experience. Thanks for sharing!!! Keep in touch…

  2. Very well said Ronnie!

  3. Thanks for this link, Steven – this patient is a great example of somebody who has truly become the “world expert” in her own diagnosis.

    She mentions that one of the ways in which she has become a more participatory patient is by researching on the web and bringing this information to her doctors for discussion during her appointments.

    This can be a good new/bad news scenario, depending on the patient and particularly depending on how receptive one’s doctor is to this kind of “research”.

    For example, Dr. Stuart Foxman of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario implied as much when he wrote about the growing phenomenon of patients who are now self-educated “Medical Googlers”. He tells of one study that found that many physicians rate the know-it-all Googler as somewhere between “frustrating” and “irritating”.

    Or consider Dr. Scott Haig‘s Time magazine essay called ‘When The Patient Is A Googler’ – a scathingly arrogant attack, describing his Googling patients as “suspicious and distrustful, their pressured sentences bursting with misused, mispronounced words and half-baked ideas.”

    Can you imagine the reaction of a doctor like Haig to this diabetes patient’s helpful pile of printed internet research? Yikes.

    More on this at: “What Doctors Really Think About Women Who Are Medical Googlers” – http://myheartsisters.org/2009/08/19/med-google/

  4. The Indian healthcare system has become sick. Doctors are illness experts – and not healthcare experts. Healthcare needs to learn from the revolution which has occurred in microfinancing. When given money and the freedom to use it as they see fit , even very poor people have come up with remarkably innovative ideas which could never have been planned, designed or anticipated by the traditional experts – bankers!

    Information Therapy – the right information at the right time for the right person – can be powerful medicine ! Ideally, every clinic , hospital, pharmacy and diagnostic center should have a patient education resource center, where people can find information on their health problem .

    Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
    Medical Director
    HELP – Health Education Library for People
    Excelsior Business Center,
    National Insurance Building,
    Ground Floor, Near Excelsior Cinema,
    206, Dr.D.N Road, Mumbai 400001
    Tel. No.:65952393/65952394

    Helping patients to talk to doctors !

    Information Therapy is the Best Prescription – http://www.informationtherapy.in !

    Read over 20 health books free at http://www.helpforhealth.org

    Read my blog about improving the doctor-patient
    relationship at http://doctorandpatient.blogspot.com/

    Join India’s first health wiki at http://www.myhealthpedia.in

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