Thursday, January 1, 2009

“Physicians are coaches. Patients are players.”

Cross-posted from the e-patient blog:

I don't know who Stanley Feld is, but he just became my friend, with a terrific post on doctor as coach, patient as player. It starts:

The role of patients with chronic diseases and their physicians must be clear to both patients and physicians. Physicians are coaches. Patients are players.

This resonates with what's become my favorite item from Chapter 2 of our white paper, e-Patients: How they can help us heal health care: Preliminary Conclusion #6, which is "The best way to improve healthcare is to make it more collaborative."

It resonates particularly well with me because my own e-patient community, the kidney cancer group on, taught me that increasingly cancer has become not an immediate threat to life but a chronic condition. Then, when I read Anticancer: A new way of life, an astounding idea came to my attention: cancer without disease.

Cancer without disease!

Astounding, and I've never heard it mentioned elsewhere; but here I am, a living example. I still have metastases in me, but I don't have a trace of illness.

And, thank you very much, I'd like to keep it that way.

Funny thing is, though, in my case, I'm getting more advice on how to do that (chronic management, keeping it that way) from my reading than I am from my physicians! (Especially from reading Anticancer.) I'll be talking to them about that.

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