This week'a show had three stories about the art of patient persuasion. In theory, I'm supposed to tell you about the benefits and the risks and let you decide. But in the real world, the surgeon who is ready to open your belly must be skilled at getting you to say yes. As usual, our show generated reaction from you. Click below to read your reaction.
Post script. For those of you looking for reaction to our show on Hospital Parking, fear not: we'll post a jumbo-sized edition next week.
Naomi Brooks sent this pithy email. "While listening to this episode on Marketing Medicine, I was struck with the difference in philosophy between most medical care and the philosophy of midwifery care in Ontario. Midwives provide care based on informed choice. I believe that as health care providers we have a dual role: we are clinicians and we are educators. We expect our clients (definitely not patients) to be active participants in their health care, and I see a huge part of my job is to educate them in order to full fill this role. It is fascinating to me to see where an initial philosophical difference can lead us down such different paths, yet we work well side by side. I really enjoy your show. Every episode gets me thinking. thanks for doing it!"
Thank you for contributing to the discussion, Naomi. I'm glad midwifery teaches its professionals to be both clinicians and educators. I would certainly like to believe that medicine, nursing and other allied health professions do the same.
Dr. Michael Evans, who was also on the show, would certainly agree that MDs are supposed to educate their patients. He's a top level thinker on how to deliver and market accurate health information to Canadians.
If some (perhaps many) fellow MDs don't follow his lead, why is that? Some would argue that MDs are paid to treat patients and not educate them. Balderdash! Clearly, they are paid to educate patients on what they can and should do to take better care of themselves. It's not just ethical practice; it's good for patients. An educated patients takes steps to prevent bad outcomes.
It's also good for doctors. An educated patient is much easier to talk to about treatment options. She or he is also more likely to follow the doctor's advice.
Thanks for writing.