A recent patient scheduled surgery for liposuction and a breast lift after consultation. A day or two after she booked (but before her surgery), she sent me an email with some follow up questions. All good questions but her questions also had links to online references to help explain her perspective and concerns. It was at that moment that I realized the benefits of educated patients!
While I encourage all patients to ask questions, it really impresses me when they demonstrate they’ve done their research. Now, I know many doctors don’t really like it when patients spend a lot of time reading on the internet and that’s for good reason. It’s not that doctors want patients to remain ignorant of their healthcare. The problem is that there is a great deal of non-sense and dogmatic drivel on the internet, to such an extent that it’s counterproductive to a patient’s research.
Instead of patients asking questions to get a better understanding of what awaits them during and after surgery, the doctor spends the consultation clearing up misconceptions rather than building on a foundation of appropriate knowledge. That is unless, they’re reading the content that you, the doctor, has placed on the internet!
You see, the links to online references that my patient was including in her questions, were links to my blog posts! And since I wrote them, I don’t consider that content to be nonsense. I was able to see exactly what aspects of my blog post she wanted clarified. It was a great way to help synthesize the information that she wanted to understand. To other doctors that don’t like what patients are reading on the internet, my recommendation is to give them content you want them to read…in the form of your own blog posts. The best education patients can get!