“We are all patients.” No, you’re not.

Heart Sisters

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

patientI read recently about a conference on breast reconstructive surgery following mastectomy, to which not one single Real Live Patient who had actually undergone breast reconstructive surgery following mastectomy was invited to participate. This is, sadly, yet another example of “Patients Excluded” health care conferences – in stark contrast to the growing number of notable conferences that have garnered the “Patients Included”designation.*

The result of attending a “Patients Excluded” conference is just as you might imagine: hundreds of people working in healthcare getting together to talk at each other about caring for people who aren’t even at the table. Or, as one physician arguing for  “Patients Excluded” conferences protested online:

“I already hear patients’ stories all day long in our practice. Why should I have to listen to more stories at my medical conferences?”

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2 Comments on ““We are all patients.” No, you’re not.”

  1. Thanks Carly for reposting this here! And thanks especially for your spot-on comments in response to the original that you left on my site. 🙂

    • Carly says:

      I want to eventually write a post response, but I’m not sure I will get to it quickly or forget. I wanted to at least bookmark your post here because this is such a soapbox issue for me. We need to widen the sphere of what it means to be a patient, but also keep on eye on diversity and inclusion. It’s not easy, since we have to fight to have ANY voice and we don’t want to alienate anyone. I believe it is worthwhile to try to improve the public face of the “patient.”


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