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ePatient discusses how web-savvy patients are changing the practice of medicine

Article / Review by on December 1, 2011 – 6:55 pmNo Comments

ePatient discusses how web-savvy patients are changing the practice of medicine

post today on the Medicine X blog features a thought-provoking conversation with Sarah Kucharski, ePatient and author of The Afternoon Nap Society. In the Q&A, which was written by Scope alumna Julia James, Kucharski discusses how being diagnosed with intimal fibromuscular dysplasia motivated her to become a patient advocate and offers her thoughts on how technology is changing the doctor-patient relationship.

Sarah Kucharski, ePatient and author of The Afternoon Nap Society.

Here’s what she says about the effect ePatients are having on medicine:

ePatients are pushing the boundaries of what is “acceptable” in medicine. They are not passive. Some doctors don’t like a patient who comes in with printouts and questions. I wonder if those same doctors like patients who fail to adhere to their medications, miss appointments and don’t adequately describe their symptoms. Which is worse? ePatients can play a huge role in fostering reception for participatory medicine.

[When I suffered] my stroke–doctors told me that it was vertigo and that my symptoms would go away as suddenly as they had come on. [They also] failed to see the four brain aneurysms on my scans from the day I had the stroke. The only reason these two issues were addressed is because I acted as my own health advocate. Patients must be involved in their care and not passively accept whatever they are told. Patients should work with their doctors and realize that they have the responsibility to communicate as clearly and effectively as they can to improve their care.

By Lia Steakley
Stanford University Medical Center

Photo courtesy Sarah Kucharski


* Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

**  The above story is adapted from materials provided by Stanford University School of Medicine


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