17 Jan, 14 | by BMJ
In the Victorian era the patients who acquired public profiles tended to be doubly disadvantaged. Think Joseph Merrick. His fame as the “Elephant Man” stemmed from others exploiting his disfiguring disorder (Proteus syndrome?) for financial gain. Now patients are becoming well known less for shouldering disease burdens so much as using their experience to help others. A handful have achieved celebrity status…….
They give TED talks, publish books, and are run off their feet meeting calls to speak at medical meetings. Convenors are beginning to recognise the value, and all should, of ticking the “patient included” box.
It’s not hard to see why patients become passionate advocates for others. The insight gained from experiencing prolonged physical and mental ill health motivates you to help fellow patients in a way that nothing else can. more…