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.