Sunday, May 31, 2009

Participatory Medicine will Change the Health Care World as we Know it!

One of the reasons eDocAmerica exists is to empower patients to take more control of their own health care. A wonderful group of people, patient advocates, physicians and other professionals alike have created a broad platform for this "e patient" movement, called Participatory Medicine. This group was originally assembled by Tom Ferguson, MD, an esteemed colleague who died after a courageous battele with Multiple Myeloma, and has since continued to meet. They created an excellent blog site, that anyone who is interested in this subject should visit regularly.

Participatory medicine is a cooperative model of health care that encourages and expects active involvement by all connected parties (healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers, etc.) as integral to the full continuum of care. The ‘participatory’ concept may also be applied to fitness, nutrition, mental health, end-of-life care, and all issues broadly related to an individual’s health. This group is forming a society, the Society of Participatory Medicine and, soon, there will be a web site where interested parties can join and "participate" in the discussion. The society's first president is Alan Greene, MD, author of popular Pediatric website In addition, the Society is founding a new journal, the Journal of Participatory Medicine. The Journal will bring together the best available evidence and examples of participatory medicine to:
a) Make a robust case for its value to people – sick or well –, advocates, and health professionals
b) Serve as a meeting place and rallying point for those at the leading edge of participatory medicine
c) Engage, inform and include those who have been involved in, or practicing, participatory medicine. We aim to advance both the science and practice.

The mission of the Journal is to transform the culture of medicine to be more participatory; and we believe that doing so, as the saying goes, will take a village – perhaps even a large metropolitan area! JPM constitutes a major investment of time and talent in community development. The journal will be entirely electronic, using the Open Journal System platform of online publishing. Yours truly, along with Jessie Gruman, the founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH), an independent, nonpartisan Washington-based policy institute funded by the Annenberg Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and other foundations, will serve as Co-Editors in Chief of this new journal. We expect to publish our first issue of the Journal sometime in the fall of this year.

This is an exciting group of talented, engaged people who have the capacity to create something that will make a major difference in our health care system. eDocAmerica has a powerful collaborative opportunity here to participate with other key individuals and groups to help change health care!

Your comments and opinions are always welcome...

1 comment:

Gunther Eysenbach said...

Although we tend to apply new labels to old (and very similar) concepts and ideas (Internet medicine, cybermedicine, ehealth, health 2.0, participatory medicine), I should point out that a journal which covers this area already exists: The Journal of Medical Internet Research ( has been publishing research and commentaries in this field for over 10 years, and some of the editorial board members from that new journal are also involved in JMIR.
I regret that they decided to create a competing journal rather than collaborating with the existing, leading journal in this field, and I wish them good luck - creating a new journal in the era of Web 2.0 is almost an anchronism. I do hope they succeed, but I also should point out that JMIR has always been and will remain a home for commentary, discussion, and research in this area, and new section editors are always welcome (