The buzz about how healthcare social media (HCSM) will impact healthcare innovation is getting too loud to ignore. However, there are those who don’t hear it because they have their fingers in their ears. They are saying, “No. Patients belong in the back of the information bus. We will tell you what you need to know.”
When I meet doctors who denigrate the internet, blogging, and e-patients, I usually raise one eyebrow behind my glasses and decline to engage in an argument. It is not worthwhile: someone who already sees patients as less capable of handling information is not going to be influenced by the opinion of a patient.
Do some doctors think that being a patient impairs our thinking?
This week I watched a video about Rheumatoid Arthritis on CRM Healthcare featuring two doctors discussing issues related to RA diagnosis. Dr. Dorothy Sherwood declared, “Keeping them off the internet is a very important thing to do.” I’ve met doctors who hold that view, but never heard one declare it publicly.
Dr. Sherwood’s statement reveals more than a lack of understanding of Web 2.0. It is typical of what patients tell me they receive from doctors: a superior attitude which makes genuine communication difficult. It is as if patients must learn their place, stay in their place, and mind their manners. Of course there are blessed exceptions; however too often, doctors see patients as simple-minded and uneducable because of the sheer fact that they are patients.
Believing that patients are necessarily incapable of reading and processing information is like believing that women are not smart enough to be doctors. I’ll bet she’s glad we don’t do that anymore. Do some doctors want to keep patients barefoot and stupid?
See on rawarrior.com