After reading Lucien Engelen’s BMJ editorial this past summer, I couldn’t help but think: Should patients be present at all medical meetings?
Or better: Is there ever a time and place where doctors should meet without patients?
The e-patient voice is critical. But, as important, we must think about where that voice best fits. We must move beyond they have to be there to detailing how to leverage patient expertise and experience in physician training. Otherwise it’s just for show.
It’s easy to demand a seat. It’s harder to detail what happens once seated.
Meeting planners looking to understand where patients fit into medical dialogue would do better with granular guidance than a blind mandate for involvement. Of course, mandatory involvement is one way to start a conversation like this.
The question would make for a fantastic panel discussion at a venue such as MedX. The conclusions would make for a brilliant paper that would serve a world looking to work with patients but not knowing where to begin.