I promised a recap of BlogHer’s Healthminder day, but there’s no way I could to all the wonderful women who spoke and participated today justice if I tried to cover it all. I’m going to do a series of small posts with my favorite big ideas, quotes, etc., from the women who participated today.
The First Panel–Our Real Health: The Last Taboo
Moderator: Shwen Gwee
There were two big ideas on this panel:
- How much personal information should you share when you blog about health?
- What is it to be an empowered patient and how should healthcare providers respond to these “difficult” patients?
The big consensus on how much to share was that every person has to find their own line.
- Erin (the Queen of Spain) is on the “share it all” side of things–her brave, intimate writing about her life and illness is what has built the online community she loves.
- Dr. Manning writes about her life and experiences with patients in the hospital–but she doesn’t let it all hang out. She has to protect patient privacy and she limits what she says about family, religion and politics.
- Barbara Ficarra said she was most comfortable with no personal details at all–she takes the journalist approach to writing online.
What resonated with me: Dr. Manning said she blogs “so she can read it” (Toni Morrison said she wrote The Bluest Eye so she could read it). And she says that “there’s one version of me”–the doctor, the educator, the mother, the woman who doesn’t want to take spinning class because it will mess up her hair…she’s going to be all of that on her blog and in her life as well. She’s gotten comfortable with that.
I’m getting comfortable being the “one version of me” too–and some of the bloggers I spoke to today, The Other Julia Roberts and Jen Lee Reeves of Born Just Right come to mind–also talked about merging their professional selves and their parent/blogger selves into one. A good trend, I think.
And what of empowered/difficult patients?
- Erin proudly proclaimed that she is empowered/difficult–and that’s why she’s making progress toward health. She fired multiple rheumatologists before finding “the one.”
- Barbara Ficarra R.N. said, “There are some difficult patients, but mostly just patients who want to be heard.”
- Dr. Manning talked about how a patient who asks questions ultimately brings out the best in a doctor. She welcomes the empowered patient and tries to bring out the questions from every patient she sees.