The E-Patient becomes a patient

E-patient Dave deBronkart has been the most important and amazing voice of the e-patient movement for years now after surviving a kidney cancer years ago. When I asked him to comment on how medical students should become doctors who are aware of the e-patient movement, he sent me and my students this message.

He announced a few days ago that he has skin cancer again.

An odd consequence of speaking at medical conferences is that sometimes my face is displayed, real big, on monitors at the front of a room. That happened in November at the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) annual meeting in Washington.

At the end, Lisa Letourneau MD, MPH of Maine Quality Countsraced up, pointed to my jaw, and said “You should have that checked.  I think it’s a basal cell.” (That’s the least serious type of skin cancer – see Wikipedia: “Basal-cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer. It rarely metastasizes or kills.”) A few days later I took the picture at left, and started watching.

And now here is the newest piece of the story, Dave approaches the issue from a different angle:

I’ve decided to explore my options by doing what companies do when they’re shopping for a solution: they write a Request for Proposals, and let vendors reply. But in this case what I published isn’t cast in stone – I invite discussion and suggestions. And, significantly, I start with the context: partnership; participatory medicine –

I cannot wait to see how the industry and the healthcare system respond to such innovative approach.