Patients as partners?
Others think that the idea of partnership with patients is neither feasible nor desirable. The pressure on doctors to see and deal with patients as quickly as possible has never been greater. In the average consultation there is scarcely time to define (or exclude) medical problems let alone discuss metaphysics. Arguably patients - particularly distressed and vulnerable ones (which is just about everyone when ill) - seek the same things from doctors that they seek from other professional experts: help and guidance. They want an informed opinion on the best course of action from a doctor they can trust. They don’t want to be presented with vast chunks of indigestible, conflicting data and told to make up their own minds.
What do you think?
Is the concept of patients as partners valid and useful?
If so, how should doctors respond?
Or is this just the latest enthusiasm to emerge from the consumerist wing of the largely well, middle class?
We would greatly value your views on these questions now, and any contributions in the form of papers, editorials, letters, personal views and the like for our forthcoming theme issue in September on Patients as Partners.
Guest editor: Angela Coulter
Editorial contact: Tessa Richards,