My wife Esther had four pregnancies. One ended prematurely. But three others produced our dear Ari, Ruthie, and Eitan. Now they are thriving at 21, 17, and 13. With them on their way and the house getting quieter, what to do? Have another baby? How about finally having the discipline to have another kind of baby – write a book and actually have the discipline to get it published?
Guess what: I DID IT! With deep thanks to long-time friend and co-author Mary Thomas, we took the kernel of an idea Amy Gray and I hatched four years ago and turned it into a topical and useful guidebook: The Web-Savvy Patient: An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis. Please see www.websavvypatient.com . It's available now. Tell your friends!
The book details my story as a leukemia survivor who sought to become “web-savvy” and also draws on the experiences of many others. And then it goes a critical step further. It shows YOU how to make the information useful in consultation with your doctor or new doctors you select. We believe it is the first book of its kind.
Believe me, writing a non-fiction book is hard. Words don’t just flow off the tongue. You have to do a lot of research. And, in our case using real people, we had to conduct many interviews and get permission from many people. But it’s done and now available to you. Yes, it feels to this 60-year-old man like I have birthed a baby. It wasn’t painful but it did take a really long time. Now, as with a child, I am eager to see it take on a life of its own. Given the subject, many readers will have their own stories to share and their own comments to add. I can’t wait.
My dream is that this book isn’t an end, but just a start to American healthcare consumers, and maybe many more in other countries, taking back control of their healthcare. No doctor should tell a patient what will be done to them. Patients should be offered options and, in the end, make an educated decision. The Internet, used wisely, can play a role.
Besides patients needing to be transformed to this new way of doing things, doctors need to make the transition too. WE, the patients, are their customers. It is our health at stake. And we have a strong, central, say. Doctors, nurses, and even medical office receptionists who don’t “get” that, should, in this coming “web-savvy” world, lose out. Fewer patients. Less respect. We patients should have no patience for them.
You can learn more about the book at our website, www.websavvypatient.com. We’ll have an e-book for the Kindle, the Nook, and other devices available soon. And I will soon record an audio book version. With each purchase, funds go to the Patient Empowerment Network, a not-for-profit organization Esther and I have set up to provide tools to empower healthcare consumers and put us all back in control. I hope you will see the book and this funding as worthy.
I welcome your comments and promise you that the conversation about tools for the Web-Savvy Patient will continue online. You can contact me through EmpowHER or through my website, www.patientpower.info. I look forward to hearing from you!
Wishing you the best of health!
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