For years, my elevator speech when asked about my work has been, "I explore, write and speak about how modern patients get good care and live as fully as possible."
Last week someone responded with a question, "Wendy, what do you mean by a 'modern patient'"?
My knee-jerk response was, "A patient in the 21st century." But I felt uncomfortable with my answer, knowing I meant more.
When I think, write and talk about modern patients, I'm picturing people in today's world who are playing some role in (1) deciding which physicians care for them, (2) what they learn about their condition and (3) the medical decisions regarding their care.
I'm talking about people who are benefitting from a healing blend of high-tech medicine delivered by sensitive and compassionate clinicians. I'm also referring to people who are suffering from painful interventions performed by cold clinicians in certain medical establishments. And I'm including everyone in between.
The defining element of being a modern patient is that these patients have the option to use the information and technology available to patients today.