Podcast: Victor Montori – Mayo Clinic MD calls for patient revolution

Michael Joyce is a writer-producer for HealthNewsReview.org and tweets as @mlmjoyce

Having a conversation with Victor Montori you can almost feel your hair blow back.

If he were introduced at a medical conference you’d probably get something like this: Mayo Clinic diabetes physician, author of roughly 600 publications, world-class expert in shared decision-making and evidence-based medicine, director of Mayo’s Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, and an advisor to The BMJ and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But in person you get this: a working wisdom of the U.S. medical industrial complex, placed in pragmatic perspective by a frontline physician who actually studies the patient-doctor relationship (yes, patient before doctor) … all fueled by high octane passion.

It’s on full display in this podcast. Simply acknowledging that our $3 trillion health care industry is broken doesn’t cut it with Montori. He wants to fix it. Here’s how …

Montori sees his book — Why We Revolt: A Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care — as the starting point of a much-needed conversation.

You can buy the book — and share your story — at patientrevolution.org.

We cover shared decision-making often. Of the dozens of articles we’ve written on the topic, this one by our publisher, Gary Schwitzer, is an excellent starting point.

As for evidence-based medicine, here’s a compelling video of a Victor Montori presentation at the University of Oxford in June of 2016. It explores how can we understand and apply scientific evidence in the context of Montori’s patient revolution.


The Health News Watchdog podcasts cover a wide range of topics. Just this year alone we have talked with a former US Senator about health care reform. We’ve asked whether wellness programs really work. We’ve taken dubious stem cell clinics to task. You can find these and the rest of our podcasts HERE.

If you like what you hear, leave us a comment or rating. Maybe you have an idea for a future podcast. We’d love to hear it and we’d love to hear from you!

Comments (4)

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Rob Oliver

November 13, 2017 at 10:41 am

Someone who works at the Mayo Clinic has the stones to complain about the “medical industrial complex”?

The Mayo Clinic (and now Cleavland Clinic) is the American poster child of entrpreneurial medicine and self promotion for the better part of a century. They are relentless promoters of a brand.

Michael Joyce

November 13, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Dr. Oliver,

Thank you for sharing your concern regarding how the Mayo Clinic (and as you note, ‘and now Cleavland [sic] Clinic’) can be ‘relentless promoters of a brand’. Not infrequently we share similar concerns, or — at the very least — we critique something they do which we find potentially misleading or harmful to consumers. If you search our website with either institution’s name you will find dozens of instances we have been highly critical of both.

But allow me to critique your reaction to Dr. Montori. First, he is not ‘complaining’ about the medical industrial complex. He rigorously studies it and is committed to being part of the solution, not part of the problem. Second, although it is true that Dr. Montori is an employee of the Mayo Clinic, this is a self-published book and not a publication of the Mayo Clinic.

Finally, if you listened to the podcast, thank you. My goal was to reveal the thinking and passion of this remarkable physician. My sense in speaking with him was that he was trying to promote much needed change, not his employer. That comes through in the book as well which — if you get a chance to read it — might change your opinion of him as either complaining or promoting a brand.

Selver Maric

November 14, 2017 at 8:17 am

Rob Oliver, please read a book first than comment about it.
This book is greater than Mayo Clinic, he is a first doctor who really step forward and say what really happens on the other side of big healthcare walls. Being entrepreneurial isn’t problem of medicine, medicine stopped to care for patients – that’s a real problem.

Charles L Carter

November 15, 2017 at 8:46 am

Dr Montori’s heart is really in the right place. But implicit in his argument is that few doctors share his values of kindness and shared decision making. In med school in the 80’s, I was told the days of patriarchal medicine should be left behind. Shared decision making is a re-branding of this concept, not wrong or bad in itself but not especially new. Each patient and each situation are different and many patients will say, “Just make me better “. Engaging them in their health, especially for chronic illness, can be a challenge though vital.
Dr Montori’s credibility suffers somewhat as well from his specialty. Regimens for diabetics are among the most demanding and are among those promoted with relatively weak evidence.
Doctors certainly warrant encouragement such as Dr Montori’s advises, but the real solution lies in payment models,loan forgiveness, and diminishing regulatory burdens to promote primary care. More PCP’s and more time for them to actually interact with patients in an unstructured way would go very far to advancing his ideas. And specialists acting as consultants rather than long term managers of their slice of a patient.