An Open Letter to a Surgeon From His Patient

Here is the introduction by Jesse Gruman, host of the Prepared Patient Forum:

Andrew Robinson

Posted on the Prepared Patient Forum

Andrew Robinson was a successful New York trial attorney when he was diagnosed with “an incurable form of Leukemia” and told he had “less than five years to live.” That was more than 15 years ago. Despite severe complications, including over 50 hospitalizations, Andrew was the founder and CEO of Patient2Patient, a mission based company that developed disease specific WebGuides to help patients learn how to locate and use the medical information, resources and tools available on the Internet.

Andy is a friend, a playwright, a humorist, a blogger and a veteran of many cancer diagnoses and treatments. Andy embodies the ideal participator in Participatory Medicine. He is an informed, active and curious person who has found ways of working with a wide variety of specialist physicians over the years to devise strategies that allow him to remain as healthy and functional as he can.

Continue reading “An Open Letter to a Surgeon From His Patient”

Bad Language: Words One Patient Won’t Use (And Hopes You Won’t Either)

Jesse Gruman

First posted 8/03/11 on Prepared Patient Forum

“There is a better way – structural reforms that empower patients with greater choices and increase the role of competition in the health-care marketplace.” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)August 3, 2011

The highly charged political debates about reforming American health care have provided tempting opportunities to rename the people who receive health services.  But because the impetus for this change has been prompted by cost and quality concerns of health care payers, researchers and policy experts rather than emanating from us out of our own needs, some odd words have been called into service.  Two phrases commonly used to describe us convey meanings that mischaracterize our experiences and undervalue our needs: “empowered patient” and “health care consumer.”

As one who has done serious time as a patient and who spends serious time listening to talks and reading the literature that use these words to describe us, I ask you to reconsider their use.

Continue reading “Bad Language: Words One Patient Won’t Use (And Hopes You Won’t Either)”