e-Patient Connections 2010 : The doctor watches the patient work, not the other way around

I was immediately taken by the lead photograph in this post written by @KevinKruse : e-Patient Connections 2010 Wrap-up: It’s the Connections that Count, and @ReginaHolliday’s tweet about it:

Paintings in Progress

Why? Because it reminded me of this painting, from the Massachusetts General Hospital Etherdome, which I was taken by when I first encountered it in person, in 2005:

Mummy and Sarcophagus in the Ether Dome

I love the juxtaposition, and the change it signifies, which is from the health care system focusing at what it does to patients, to focusing on what patients do for themselves and society. When I was in England earlier this year, there was an expression I heard used, which was, “the health care system should now face the community, not the hospital.”

Now that we are much more comfortable doing things to patients than we were in the scene depicted above, I think this is a healthy transition. The fact that I am the doctor watching the patient in the photograph is just an incidental honor that I am privileged to have 🙂


Ted, great post. Even though we had over a 1,000 photos to choose from we knew that one really captured the spirit of the event.

I was not familiar with Ether Dome or the painting either. When I Google'd it (of course) I was struck by what Dr. Warren reportedly said after the first successful use of ether for surgery. I think it could apply to our new e-patient paradigm. He said,

""Gentlemen, this is no Humbug"

Cheers, Kevin


Great insight, and thank you very much for creating the environment that changed the paradigm that much more during that week in Philadelphia,


Ted Eytan, MD