Participatory Medicine is a new paradigm in healthcare, one that promises to enhance healthcare efficiency, transform the experience for both the patient and their providers, and improve healthcare outcomes.  This cultural shift requires adaptation among healthcare professionals (including physicians) as well as patients and caregivers.

And yet changing culture amongst physicians remains challenging, for a variety of reasons (some good, some not so good).  For example, it takes an average of 17 years until physicians adopt proven best practices.  Hopefully, Participatory Medicine won’t take so long.

Yet, there are many of my colleagues who are already adherents to the model of Participatory Medicine, although they may not call it that. These physicians work hard to engage patients in their healthcare, understanding that healthcare is not a spectator sport.  They have a mutually respectful relationship with their patients, encourage them to search for online health information, point them to online support communities, communicate with them online, and invite patients to view their records both when in the office and at home.

Why practice Participatory Medicine?  Everyone has their own motivations.  Some of our stories (including mine) are here.

Do you support these ideals?  Are you practicing Participatory Medicine?  If you are, let us hear your voice! Join the SPM, submit your studies to the Journal, submit blog entries to e-Patients.net, spread the word, teach your patients, and teach your colleagues.  Like any movement, this won’t happen without your active involvement.

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