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What’s the Real Issue: Engaged Patients or Engaging Providers?

This week, we look back on Stephen Wilkins’ provocative contribution which turns the concept of patient engagement on its head. He suggests that more productive office visits and better outcomes will only come when providers take steps to sharpen their own communication skills and become “more engaging.”

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Health Literacy Month: A Great Time for Learning and Improving


Earlier this year, the National Patient Safety Foundation’s Lucian Leape Institute issued a report about how critical patient and family engagement is for ensuring patient safety. Health literacy problems continue to be one of the barriers to effective patient partnerships. With Health Literacy Month in progress, there is no better time to learn more about…

The Telluride Experience: Rich Insights with Patients as Faculty

At Telluride, students and physicians learn about the human side of medicine from patient families like the Skolniks who watched their son suffer the consequences of an  unnecessary brain surgery.

When Helen Haskell lost her son Lewis to medical harm, becoming a medical educator most likely was the furthest thought from her mind. The same, I would imagine holds true for Patty and David Skolnik and Carole Hemmelgarn, patient advocates who also lost children entrusted to healthcare professionals. But when these incredible individuals rose above…

Engaging Patients to Make Better Decisions about Antibiotic Use

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Can patient-clinician engagement save us from a time when antibiotics will not be able to resolve infection? In 1945, the medical community was first warned of the danger of antibiotic overuse and resistance. Alexander Fleming, the man who gave us penicillin left us with this powerful message about overuse: “In such cases, the thoughtless person…