For 18 months it’s been increasingly clear that the nature of this work – at least mine – has moved beyond surviving cancer (though that’s great), beyond “Gimme my DaM data” (though that’s true). It’s time to examine the core beliefs that hold medicine back from achieving its potential – its mistaken conceptions about what patients can do and should be supported in doing.
So when Susan Carr, editor of the excellent Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, asked last summer if we should do another piece, I proposed that we pick up where I left off in 2015 as Mayo’s Visiting Professor: let’s examine whether it’s time to formally examine “the paradigm of patient”; to rigorously ask whether establishment medicine’s conception of what “patient” means – especially what patients are capable of, and should be empowered to achieve – needs to be updated. If we get that wrong, then business and science and policy can’t possibly get it right.
The resulting interview is here – they made it their cover story! You can jump to that link, but if you have a moment, I’d like to say more about its background, and why this is important.