I am incredibly excited to be invited as an ePatient Scholar to speak at Stanford’s Medicine X in September 2015. I have had the honour of being a scholar in 2012 on the design track with IDEO and remotely in 2014 to talk about the under-served. This time though, I get to be a part of something new and hopefully incredibly powerful – teaching doctors as part of Medicine X Ed.
Every time I enter a doctor’s office or meet a doctor at an ER, I see it as an opportunity to teach doctors. Long gone are the days where I allow them to treat me with paternalistic gloves. I expect to be a colleague in my care and that requires that I teach them as much as they teach me.
And so I bring articles and blog posts and other materials to help them understand the patient experience and, at times, to understand my complex health history (for more often than not, they need help with even the definition of some of my illnesses). I of course highlight everything I bring for I know that doctors are only marginally better at reading materials than at listening. Hopefully said highlighting (and sometimes side notes) directs their attention to important messages within the text that they might learn something that will not only help me but help other patients they encounter.
One day perhaps medical schools will actually invite patients in to teach classes on how to treat patients. I don’t mean using us to practice on, but listening to us as lecturers. Until then, I undertake this task one by one bringing in articles I think are important to understanding what it means to be a patient. Reading only journal articles (which are sometimes the only articles taken seriously) will not suffice. For it is only in understanding patients that you can truly hope to treat us.
Below are the articles I take (in alphabetical order, not order of importance). Yes, the collection could be the start of a textbook size book.
- 5 Simple Habits Can Help Doctors Connect with Patients
- The Art of Compliance
- Chronic Illness Bingo
- Doctors and Decision Fatigue
- Doctors, Shut Up and Listen
- Don’t Take Patients’ Patience for Granted
- Healthcare, Patient Satisfaction Scores, & Glitter
- The Hyperbole and a Half Pain Scale from Boyfriend Doesn’t Have Ebola. Probably. (written long before the recent ebola outbreak and unrelated to it)
- On Wasting My Time – The Numbers
- Post Hospital Syndrome – An Acquired, Transient Condition of Generalized Risk
- The Real World is Not an Exam
- Reducing the Trauma of Hospitalization
- Should You Bring That List of Questions to Your Doctor?
- Spoon Theory
- A Taste of My Own Manners
- Teaching Doctors the Art of Negotiation
- To Just Be A Person, And Not A Patient Anymore
- Us vs Them – The Underserved Patient Speaks Up
- What Happens when Patients Know More Than Their Doctors
- What Patients Don’t Tell Their Doctors
- When Doctors Discriminate
- When Doctors Give Patients Money
- When the Patient Is “Noncompliant”
- When You Fear Being Labeled a “Difficult” Patient
- Why Patients Hate the C-Word
- Why the ER Doctor Asks Patients What’s Happening At Home
- You’ve Done The Right Thing By Coming Here Today
I’ll certainly be updating this list as I discover more important writings.
I would love to know of other articles that have hit a chord with you that you believe doctors should read.
Some news to add (8/27/15):
- Communication Issues All Too Common in Hospitals
- Flipping the Birdie to Hospital Flair and Awards
- Kindness in Health Care – Missing in Action?
- The Loss of “Self” In Chronic Illness Is What Really Hurts
- Negative Patient-Doctor Communication Could Worsen Symptoms
*Further note, though I was honoured to be asked to speak at MedX Ed, due to health issues I will not be able to partake in this year’s conference. I am truly grateful for the kindness and support of the MedX team and encourage you to watch the conference online September 23-27, 2015. For more information visit: www.medicinex.stanford.edu