Observations BMJ Confidential

Angela Coulter: Loves patient involvement, hates pomposity

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5743 (Published 24 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5743

Biography

Angela Coulter argues that medicine without full patient engagement lacks a key dimension. For eight years from 2000 to 2008 she was chief executive of Picker Institute Europe, which advocates patient centred care; she now works for the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation and as a researcher in Oxford. Paternalism is the past, she insists: the future must see patients recognised as partners in their care and experts in their own conditions—an ambition to which clinicians and health service managers regularly pay lip service, but which has yet to be realised. Coulter is 65.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a potter—an unrealised and unrealistic goal.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I was greatly inspired by Jack Wennberg’s seminal work on variations in medical practice and the complex factors that influence …

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