An article called The informed patient by Dr Helen Salisbury in the British Medical Journal interested me not merely because I am an occasional patient at Dr Salisbury’s practice, but because what she says in the article is similar to a change in ideas in the relationship between professional advisers (lawyers and eDiscovery providers in my world) and their clients.
The central part of Dr Salisbury’s article is about patients who feel apologetic – guilty, even – about having researched their symptoms before approaching the doctor:
the apology I find the most surprising is when patients “admit” to having informed themselves about their symptoms or illness. “I’m sorry doctor, I know I shouldn’t . . .” they start, apologising for what’s surely the most obvious response to an unfamiliar symptom—looking it up online
Patients seem to fear being “disrespectful” at apparently “casting aspersions” at the doctor’s expertise. They are expecting this reaction:
Dr Salisbury says that what she is looking for is “a meeting between equals, working together to solve a problem”. Continue reading