Last Friday, we took part in an #epatient double feature, live-tweeting the RWJF First Friday hangout on flipping the clinic and hosting a #patientchat where we discussed how empowered patients can get involved. One of the key questions we focused on was one presented by Dr. Painter. Essentially, patients feel unheard, and doctors feel overwhelmed. So, what can we do to bring joy back into the doctor-patient encounter?

As always, our empowered patient community of #patientchat had plenty to say on the subject:

  • @abrewi3010: don’t be afraid to bring your knowledge, expertise, and research to an exam.
  • @markjohn1: don’t be afraid to speak up at your visit with expectations for both you and the dr
  • @abrewi3010: a patient engaged will excite the doc to become more engaged. Will improve relationship
  • @tyfn: I can go online to view blood test results, more informed, less stress at appt as already know new cancer levels
  • @darlakbrown: Understanding what questions between appts require a phone call to doc/nurse, and which ones can wait until next appt.
  • @abrewi3010: Share success stories. Docs usually only hear the bad, show them the good too
  • @abrewi3010: Asking specific question about future treatments options. Make doc explain big picture to me, not just today’s options
  • @darlakbrown: Docs should have a scale to rate patient engagement. IF a patient is low on scale, doc has steps/advice/tools to give patients.
  • @gfry: It’s all about flipping the perspective! Need to look medicine from the patient perspective.
  • @gfry: To me it’s much more important to find an engaged doctor than to think of myself as an engaged patient,” @HugoOC says.
  • @tyfn: Create an environment where sharing knowledge is not a negative, where patients/doctors desire to educate each other
  • @NannetteSC: Ask your Dr to talk to you as if you were their mother/wife/daughter. That can help bring patience & empathy

What other thoughts do you have on how a prepared, empowered patient can change the doctor-patient encounter for the better? Leave your comments below and join us for our next patient chat March 21st 10am PST / 1pm EST where we’ll be talking about developing a “patient checklist” for the doctor visit.

Photo Credit: Ree Dexter

Emily Lu

Emily Lu

Co-founder at Intake.Me
As a medical student going into family medicine, Emily joined to leverage technology to create a more patient-centered health care system. Emily is now a resident in the UCSF-SFGH Family and Community Medicine program. She is focused on developing a primary care system that uses technology to empower patients. Emily is passionate about underserved medicine, public health and quality improvement. She was selected to present an Ignite!Talk at Medx2015 on streamlining doctor visits.
Emily Lu