We couldn't agree more!
Samuel Shem, MD, DPhil, is a Professor of Medical Humanities at New York University Medical School and the bestselling author of The House of God. His recent article bemoaned the misuse and damage done by leveraging electronic health records for mercenary ends, and how that is destroying healthcare in multiple ways. The solution? He ends his article in Newsweek thus:
No. We doctors, nurses, hospitals and others in health care, are the workers. Without us, there is no health care. We all—as well as our patients—have to join together, forge a grand alliance and use our power to change medicine. We doctors then could give full attention to connecting with our patients for their care, and for our own care, too.
Dr. Shem, we agree with you. Welcome to the "grand alliance" for this very purpose: making healthcare of, by, and for the people – patients and their doctors. Welcome to Patients United!
Basic stats on current adults perceptions of physicians from a Pew Research Center survey as published on Patient Care: Americans' Views on Physicians by the Numbers If you know much about healthcare, you know the main problem is the dysfunctional healthcare system, or lack thereof. In general, patients like their doctors and doctors want to help their patients, but there are so many forces interfering with healthcare simply being about patients.
This is not sustainable:
Vox.com: Health care is getting more and more expensive and low-wage workers are bearing more of the cost.
Here is a great example of revolutionary findings in an area and for a topic that we seemed so sure of for so long – dental cavities. It turns out that a lot of that needling for injections and drilling of cavities may not be needed after all, reducing cost to 1/3, time to 1/6, of typical process. Not to mention kids no longer being afraid of the dentist due to all those noisy, scary, painful things not being done to them. You can read the story here.
At Patients United, we don't want to just comfort you in your frustrations of dealing with modern healthcare. We want to transform healthcare to be in the patient's best interest, whatever way that needs to happen, including better methods of care. And in that process to enable patients to be a driving force – demanding change, participating in patient-directed research for the things that matter (like needles and drills vs none for cavities), and taking charge of healthcare. All that money-making machinery is VERY resistant to change without a major factor in the mix to make things work differently.
In the case of cavities, we need to be clear that the vast majority of cavities are unnecessary and a result of violating nature's plan for health. How do we work together to hardly ever have cavities to begin with? And when we do need cavity care, let's make sure it is the best (and most pain free) care possible.
We (you included) are Patients United for "healthcare of the people, by the people, and for the people."