Why health reformers and politicians should listen to medical bloggers

“If you aren’t at the table, then you are on the menu.”

That’s a priceless quote from Dr. Val Jones, who primary care physician Rob Lamberts cites in a piece from MedPage Today. With health reform dominating Washington D.C. this summer, both patients and doctors “on the ground,” so to speak, are missing from the table. Many physician organizations are composed of doctors who may not be practicing private practice medicine, which comprises the majority of clinical care in the United States.

Where can they find what’s going on in the trenches of medical care? Well, reading health blogs would help. Indeed, as Dr. Rob writes, “The doctor and patient blogs on the web represent the interests of the people who are in the middle of the health care universe. This universe doesn’t have Washington, D.C. at its center, it has the patient and those who care for him or her.”

He draws a parallel to what’s happening in Iran, with the people’s use of Twitter and Facebook to give the “real” story of what’s happening: “The people who are on the ground should always be listened to. They don’t give the entire perspective, but getting a true perspective is impossible without talking to them.”

The same goes for health care reform. Listen to who it will affect the most.

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  • http://www.aftercancernowwhat.com Aftercancer

    But I expect that is far too simple a response. Just because we know what we need doesn’t mean that what we think is respected, unfortunately.

  • http://advancedmediterraneandiet.com/blog/ Steve Parker, M.D.

    Here’s another priceless quote:

    “You don’t want a seat at the table when poison’s on the menu.”

  • TrenchDoc

    This is no different than what has been goibg on for years:
    1. Hospital administrators don’t listen to docs or nurses
    2. Insurance companies tell us what is “best practice” for the patient we have cared for 20 plus years
    3 Medicare peer review groups giving out demerits for not following “guidelines”

    Why should we expect this to be any different. And when we complain we are labeled disruptive docs.
    No it will have to get much worse before we are offered a seat at the table but then there will none of us left to occupy the seat.

  • Susan H

    Docs and nurses are at the table…as waiters and busboys.
    Delay service, spit on the plates? That risks reducing the tips.
    How about a table that picks its patrons wisely: no integrity, no honor; no service.

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