Book Review: The Empowered Patient

While most of these points about finding good information on the internet are sensible and similar to my experience (here), one needs to question just how far one should go in becoming an ‘expert’ and just how much one wants to have one’s illness take over the spirit, not just the body.

My own preference is to learn enough to ask questions about treatment options and understand these better, not try to duplicate the experience and expertise of my medical team (unrealistic at best, hubristic at worst). I find numbers 4-8 risk getting into that territory, the others are fine.

  1. Sort good health sites from bad ones.
  2. Find patients like you.
  3. Look past Google.
  4. Go to the research.
  5. Read the way researchers do it.
  6. Catch a medical conference.
  7. Email experts.
  8. Look up local experts.
  9. Don’t get caught up in “cyberchondria.”
  10. Don’t overwhelm your doctor with a stack of printouts, books, or emailed links.

The intro to this review and the book seem to have an overly negative slant – I don’t think being an informed and ’empowered’ patient is being a ‘bad patient’ for most doctors, if one carries oneself with appropriate courtesy and diplomacy.

Book Review: The Empowered Patient.


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