Mayo Clinic Names E-Patient Dave as Visiting Professor

Posted Thursday, October 23, 2014 in Customer Culture by Patricia Seybold

Mayo Clinic has named Dave deBronkart, e-Patient Dave, as its 2015 Visiting Professor. For more information about Dave and his advocacy of the empowered patient movement, and his role as co-chair—with his physician, Dr. Danny Sands—of the Society for Participatory Medicine, see my write ups about Dave and his work: Must Read: e-Patient Dave’s Book on Patient Engagement and Ten Steps that May Save (or Improve) Your Life.

Let Patients Help! Book coverMayo’s endorsement of an outspoken patient advocate as their “visiting professor” has gratified Dave. He said:

“Boy, is this a thrill: the Chief Residents at the Mayo Clinic have invited me to be their Visiting Professor in Internal Medicine next March. A patient. As Visiting Professor… This is the first formal recognition I’ve heard of, from any academic medical center, of this new imperative for physicians to join forces with patients as colleagues.”

I agree. This is a fantastic acknowledgement of the increasing importance of patient empowerment and participatory medicine in the medical field.

Here’s the Mayo announcement:

“Every year, Mayo Clinic Internal Medicine Chief Residents have the opportunity to invite a Visiting Professor to spend several days engaging in educational activities and speaking at Medical Grand Rounds. Invitations are meant to reflect upon the personal interests of the chief residents and the messages we wish to convey to our Medical Grand Round audience – which consists of trainees, consultants, and researchers across the Mayo Clinic Health System. Over the last three years, previous chief residents have selected leaders in the fields of medical education (Dr. Jeffrey Wiese), quality and safety (Dr. Robert Wachter), and the CDC’s epidemic intelligence service (Dr. Douglas Hamilton).

This year, we wanted our choice to represent a field with a similarly widespread impact on the future of medical practice, but also reflect our personalities with an “outside of the box” message. At the same time we were brainstorming, the Mayo Clinic was celebrating 150 years of service, and we were reminded of the Clinic’s credo:

“The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered, and in order that the sick may have the benefit of advancing knowledge, union of forces is necessary. It has become necessary to develop medicine as a cooperative science; the clinician, the specialist, and the laboratory workers uniting for the good of the patient, each assisting in elucidation of the problem at hand, and each dependent upon the other for support.”

– Dr. William J. Mayo

“Dr. Will Mayo was stating the importance of a diverse medical team coming together to attain a common goal – the foundation of our institution’s mission has been built around this belief. However, in our experience, we have found it as important to have a “union of forces” between providers and the patients who entrust us with their care.

Patient engagement and empowerment is a natural extension of Dr. Will Mayo’s vision of a medicine as a cooperative science. We are therefore honored to announce Dave deBronkart (aka “e-Patient Dave”) as our 2015 Visiting Professor to help spread this powerful message. We look forward to his March, 2015 visit!”


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