“All too often, however, it’s the physician who struggles to admit there’s little more he or she can accomplish.” — Robert Pearl, MD (via KevinMD)
This is something that we have been thinking about for some time, and one of the reasons that we are so focused on empowering patients at Intake.Me.
At least two-thirds of people with advanced cancer thinks that chemotherapy will cure them. But as Dr. Pearl points out in the article above, the reality is that we can’t cure advanced cancer. Nevertheless, doctors rarely take the time, even with patients with advanced disease, to have the discussions that are needed to determine what a patient’s wishes are at the end of life.
The points this doctor is making goes beyond end-of-life, cancer care. Doctors, even empathetic ones, informed by the latest evidence, rarely have any personal experience with disease. As another patient writes, they lack the context to the data. They can’t know what it is like to live with advanced cancer, with chronic pain, with diabetes. They can counsel their patients, but they need to rely on the patient to convey how it is to live with disease.
And that is what makes the patients’ voice so important. That is why we work so hard at Intake.Me to be patient-centered.
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