“What needs to happen is for doctors to come down off their pedestal and for patients to get up off their knees”
Robert Johnstone, International Alliance of Patient Organizations
Feeling disempowered in life and in relation to our health undermines our health for many reasons. Empowering ourselves and enabling our patients to empower themselves can be a powerful tool for change.
A collaborative consultation style where we offer patients choice and see them as equal and active partners in the consultation is a prerequisite. Patients need access to the best quality information and with the internet this is now possible with sites such as Patient However there is also a lot of uncertainty in medicine which can be difficult to negotiate skilfully. Access to unbiased research (where available) expressed in easily understandable ways can help us communicate the risks and benefits of treatments (see below). Listening to patients stories or ‘Narrative Medicine’ is in itself empowering for the patient, though sometimes reframing may be needed.