This post in the Wall Street Journal highlights a point of view to which I keep arriving: clinicians may not be able to bring about changes in healthcare consistent with minimally disruptive medicine unless patients demand it. A real patient revolution will be necessary to help clinicians realize a future that — as I learned from Judt — they cannot make happen because the ideology of the healthcare industry does not allow them to imagine it. But patients may not yet be help by the same limitations. This WSJ post is therefore, to me, a manifestation of hope.
One thought on “A patient ¨pushes back against physicians¨? Minimally disruptive medicine brought about by patients”
That is indeed a very encouraging viewpoint put forward in the Wall Street journal column. I would also note that there are groups of patients, long away from retirement like the above writer, with lifelong chronic conditions to whom this approach of putting the brakes on the medical merry-go-round also applies. And as you note in your commentary, we have been driving a patient revolution of sorts for a long time but we hit some major barriers when the healthcare industry is immovable on the same points. I think ‘transition care’ in diabetes is a prime example. The discussion from teams of health professionals about how to stop young people dropping out of the system between paediatric care and moving into adulthood and the adult care system, inevitably revolves around creating more services, more care and more handling of the patient. Whereas, as patients we have long felt that ‘transition’ needs to start at diagnosis, where care is about arming us with the skills and capacity to manage our own condition throughout our lives. Minimally disruptive medicine could help a lot as chronic conditions amass in retirement, but it is also critical for people with life-long conitions, and could make a great contribution to the perennial ‘problem’ of young adulthood.