E. Michael D. Scott, who describes himself as “a patient, a patient advocate, a patient educator, and a professional health care communications specialist” has a new article in the Journal of Participatory Medicine, “The Term “Patient” May Describe Me … But It Does Not Define Me.”
The article is introduced by a Journal editor’s note, that reads:
“Recently, I had the privilege of being part of a very stimulating email thread on the Society of Participatory Medicine’s member-only list about the meaning of the word “patient” and what it implied for the field of Participatory Medicine. I invited several of the participants in this “conversation” to submit their ideas to the Journal to be published in the Commentary section. This excellent piece on whether we should consider changing the term “patient” is the first one I have received. I appreciate Mr. Scott’s perspective. I view the patient care arena a little like a battlefield, which the doctor and patient need to approach with their senses activated to give the encounter their best effort. Sometimes, though, we need “wakeup calls” like the slap in the face Mr Scott gave his cardiovascular surgeon at 3 AM before he was to undergo heart surgery. This is a good example of an activated, engaged patient, and one of the countless examples of how patients can participate in a way that improves their own health care outcomes.”
I followed the aforementioned email thread with interest. It’s still going.