As a cardiac surgeon, I am very aware of how intimidating surgeons can be to many patients, because of the high impact we have on their lives and the invasive nature of surgery. Because of this, many patients feel they cannot question me about their treatment plan or discuss information they have discovered while researching their heart condition.
I believe the primary function of a physician is to deliver knowledge, resources and skills that enable patients to make informed medical decisions, thereby empowering them to become active participants in determining their own outcomes.
Listener and Teacher
As a physician I believe in the guiding principles of the participatory medicine movement. Participatory medicine, as defined by the Society for Participatory Medicine, is " a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health and in which providers encourage and value them as full partners." I approach each patient interaction with the goal of understanding what matters to them and provide materials to help patients focus their questions during each visit so, they can be certain that their message is delivered.