I love TED Talks. A few months ago now my husband introduced me to TED and I have become a huge fan. I follow TED on facebook so that every day I can see what is up in that world. Their talks range in subject matter from recycled fashion to architecture to engineered silk to transplants and pleuri-potent cells. I never know what I might find on TED or how it may thrill me.
Today, I got an extra big thrill from “e-patient Dave” (aka Dave deBronkart). You wouldn’t think Dave is a cancer patient, would you? He is a man of about 60 who was diagnosed 4 years ago with a cancer that gave him 6 months to live. Through networking with other patients online he managed to find a treatment that has allowed him to live on in good health for four years so far. A treatment his doctor did not know about.
The reason I found Dave so thrilling is that he is advocating for the type of proactive patient behaviour that I want to support and encourage. Dave emboldens patients to go out and find for themselves the information they need. To be “e-patients” that is: equipped, engaged, empowered and enabled (as coined by Dr. Tom Ferguson). To make themselves heard as the vaulable resources they are in their own care.
The services I offer as a wellness consultant are aimed at supporting people in becoming e-patients. I can give you the tools and support to jump start you in this role. I can also offer ongoing support, advocacy and time to your quest to become the star in your health care.
We need doctors and health care professionals to provide us with services and exercises the skills they work very hard to master and maintain…and they need us. Doctors need us not as mute recipients of their skills but as vital contributors to our care. We need to offer our expertise about ourselves. We need to gather resources and information that best serve us and our needs so that our health professionals can better serve those needs.