The online patient community, Mayo Clinic Connect, together with health care social network Inspire, have compiled in a free e-book a collection of patient stories — words of wisdom — published in the Experts by Experience series on the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network in 2018.
The intent of this e-book is to underscore the need for health communication and medical professionals to pay attention to the human experience — a patient’s journey, a caregiver’s perspective, a communicator’s knowledge — and to turn knowledge into action.
You will read stories about tribulations and triumphs with illness, about personal journeys and lessons learned, about feelings of isolation, frustration and how these challenges led to empowerment for some...and, if you read between the lines, you will notice how these stories can ignite conversations and inspire shared decision-making between patients and their health providers.
This compilation is described as “stories that teach” because patients and caregivers are educators in so many ways — they teach us to find meaning in the loss of health, and to explore the potential of healing medicine that is grounded in personal experience. For communication and medical professionals, these narratives hold a simple truth:
“If you want to understand a symptom, a disease, a diagnosis, start by understanding the patient."