Friday, May 30, 2008

E-Life

Will the Last Physician in America Please Turn off the Lights.

 

E-life is the title of a book written by the late Tom Ferguson M.D regarding the use of the internet by patients.

Dr. Ferguson virtually led the movement to advocate informed self-care as the starting point for good health, and to promote a new kind of relationship between knowledgeable medical consumers and medical professionals. His goal was to encourage medical professionals to treat clients as equal partners in achieving better outcomes and change the entrenched practices of the traditional top-down hierarchy of the doctor-patient relationship. With the advent of broad access to the internet, Dr. Ferguson's long history of advocacy of information-empowered medical consumers positioned him to be a leading proponent of online health information resources.

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Now, you may ask how does this relate to the "HealthTrain Express"??  It is obvious to me that there are many tracks for our health train, which are all running at the same  moment in time. Dr Ferguson's ideas can be found on The Health Care Blog, written by well known medical-pundit,  Matthew Holt.  Many physicians welcome input from their patients, as it has become much more common recently for patients to bring in a print out from the internet. The "Y' generation now brings in internet information rather than the magazine articles we are all used to.  I see some rather 'novel ideas' and at times this refreshes my knowledge or motivates me to dig a little deeper into things that need refreshing.  It takes a bit more time to deal with this, but I feel this is an important feature which demonstrates "buy in"  and self awareness on the part of my patients for their disease.   As demands increase upon us patient motivation and responsibility are important aspects of their care. The internet is a welcome addition to my practice.

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