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Getting "Naked” for Patient Empowerment

By Anonymous
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There is no shortage of celebrities who are captured naked or nearly naked by paparazzi who leverage photos for national exposure.

My getting "naked" has inadvertently led to national publicity too, except I did it in a hospital as I was getting treated for leukemia. Happily this "exposure" has the benefit of empowering patients.

I was just featured in one of the world’s most influential newspapers, The New York Times. The paper’s venerable health columnist, Jane Brody (who has also written many important health books), wrote about me and my first book, “The Web-Savvy Patient,” in her column. You can read it at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/health/04brody.html

This article was picked up all around Facebook and by many patient groups, medical centers, and of course, all my relatives. But it struck a chord with leaders in the health space. Now they are calling and a big New York publisher that “passed” on taking on the book is now interested.

The book details the story of how I believe reliable information on the Web saved my life. Other patients online mentored and guided me to the best doctors and state-of-the-art care, and helped me keep my head on straight along the way.

The book advises readers how to follow the same sound course online and on how to discuss what they learn with their doctors. Some people only see the “web-savvy” part and assume it is a book about technology but it’s not. The full title is: “The Web Savvy Patient: An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis.”

When I became a patient years ago and got "naked” all I could think about was getting well. But as time unfolded and I was getting better it became clear that I had a story to tell that could help others. So it was thrilling when The New York Times coverage validated this.

You may have a health story to tell too, I can’t promise you it will be in The New York Times but I urge you to consider empowerment of others on health and medical issues as something you can easily do. You have already proven yourself to be a health information seeker just by reading this. It’s just one more step to be a distributor of health information to empower others.

About the author: Andrew Schorr is a medical journalist, cancer survivor and founder of Patient Power, a one-of-a-kind company dedicated to bringing in-depth information to patients with cancer and chronic illness. Audio and video programs, as well as transcripts, help patients make informed decisions to support their health in partnership with their medical team.

Patient Power is at www.PatientPower.info and on Facebook. Schorr is also the author of “The Web Savvy Patient: An Insider's Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis."

Edited by Malu Banuelos

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.