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825 Dr. Google and e-Patients

The Internet and other communication technologies, such as cell phones, have had a profound influence on how we live every day. What is the impact on our health care?

Some doctors shudder when a patient comes into the office with an armful of print-outs from the Internet, but others have learned how to turn the irresistible temptation to Google to their patients’ benefit. Searching the Web for health information is a very common activity. We hear from two different doctor-patient pairs about their use of modern technology to improve their communication. Here are some useful links:

ACOR.org, Association of Cancer Online Resources, an organization of listservs for people with rare cancers

CaringBridge.com, a site that lets family and friends stay updated on a patient’s progress

e-Patients.net, where the white paper: e-Patients (How They Can Help Us Heal Health Care) is found, along with many other interesting entries

participatorymedicine.org, home of the Society for Participatory Medicine

Guests: Mitchell Cook is a senior at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC. He diagnosed himself through an online search and has been a patient of Dr. Duncan Phillips.

Richard Davies deBronkart, Jr., known as e-Patient Dave, is a cancer patient and activist for healthcare transformation through participatory medicine. He is co-chairman of the board of The Society for Participatory Medicine. His book is Laugh, Sing, and Eat Like a Pig: How an Empowered Patient Beat Stage IV Cancer (And What Healthcare Can Learn From It). His website is http://epatientdave.com/.
Mike Dodson is the father of one of Dr. Phillips’ patients.

Danny Sands, MD, MPH is a director of Cisco’s IBSG Healthcare Practice and Cisco’s director of medical informatics. He is also an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a founder and is president of The Society of Participatory Medicine.

Susannah Fox is Associate Director for Digital Strategy at the Pew Internet and American Life Project. She studies the cultural shifts taking place at the intersection of technology and health care. The photo is of Susannah Fox.

J. Duncan Phillips, MD, is Surgeon-in-Chief and Director of Pediatric Surgery for WakeMed Children’s Hospital in Raleigh, NC.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free or you can stream the show from this site for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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