Role of the Patient is one of the TEDMED Great Challenges, Join us in posing questions now

I consider this to be the “decade of the patient,” which to me means patients will be more involved and more central to what we do in health care than ever. This includes not just access to the information in their medical records, but in the design and operation of the health system itself. Until the day comes when medical professionals always get it right, patient advocates would like to help out, fill in the gaps, save themselves, the people they love, and their society from unnecessary harm. And lots and lots of physicians are going to stand with them.

This statement, authored by me, shouldn’t be that surprising on this blog.

It’s my perspective statement on the TEDMED Great Challenge “The Role of the Patient” , which is one of 20 Great Challenges that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and TEDMED bringing to the level of a national dialogue as part of TEDMED (@tedmed).

This means that there’s an opportunity to broaden this discussion, in the space that shares my first name, virtually, and on site in Washington, DC, in 2013 (hooray, #epicenter).

As the Challenges web site says, we are not trying to solve problems, just trying to bring in more views:

The mission of TEDMED’s Great Challenges Program is not to solve these complex problems. Instead, we propose to provide America and the world with an unbiased and broadly inclusive view of these challenges, incorporating thoughtful, multidisciplinary perspectives. We seek thoughtful views from doctors, scientists and researchers, of course — but also from technology innovators, business and government leaders, patients, legal experts, representatives of the armed forces, the media, and many more.

During this phase, and until October 1, questions and dialogue are requested – from the general, and I would say to the specific, about the role of the patient. I would especially like to see health professionals and health professionals-in-training participate. What are you learning about the role of the patient in your environment, is a healthy role being taught/reinforced, or is an unhealthy one being taught?

What you need to do is log in to the Great Challenges site at , and go to the discussion area for The Role of the Patient Great Challenge (direct link). Please pose a question, or two, like a few that you like, add some information or a story in the discussion area below.

The idea here is that more than just a blog here or there can be involved in the discussion. Like so many other things in health and society we want to do better in, it’s time.

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Ted Eytan, MD