How do you do in terms of physical and mental well-being? If you visit your physician on a regular basis, how do you ensure that you are getting the best medical services you need? And if you have been referred to a specialist, are you aware of why the referral took place exactly?
In the above TEDMED presentation, former emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen raises the issue of lack of disclosure and transparency in the medical industry. Born in Shanghai, China, Dr. Wen moved to the United States at the age of 8 with her hard-working parents (of humble background), and was eventually enrolled in medical school and went on to become a Rhode Scholar at Oxford. Although aspiring to become a great doctor, Dr. Wen very soon discovered the troubling secret about the silence behind those white curtains and white lab coats. In what follows, she then went on to tell a few stories about her encounters with doctors (with questionable ties) who diagnose their patients based on their own self-interests, and doctors who blatant disregard the patients’ concerns — out of fear of litigation and altered ego.
Dissatisfied about this wall of silence and lack of transparency, Dr. Wen then proceed to found WhosMyDoctor.com, a website which invites medical professionals to publicize their own medical background/profile, institutional affiliations, disclosures and sources of revenue. Since its inception in 2013, WhosMyDoctor.com was featured in various media channels, while naturally receiving a backlash from the medical community who intends to maintain the status quo. As a result of this controversy, Dr. Wen was subsequently blackmailed, labelled as a traitor, and threaten with resignation from her medical department. Despite this hardship and turmoil, Dr. Wen vows to persist with her patient advocacy with courage and determination, and goes on to encourage doctors to exercise their compassion and empathy as a routine part of their medical practices.
Here at The Sustainabilitist, we refrain from looking at medicine as a sick-care system, and advocate for health sovereignty instead of blind medical obedience. However, if there is anything that Dr. Wen can teach us, it would be the realization that both health sovereignty and physician-patient trust reestablishment constitute valid steps towards solving this deplorable medical crisis — a serious crisis which breeds hatred, indifference, arrogance and cynicism.
Enjoy this post? Consider liking or sharing it! For additional materials, check out our Facebook and Twitter! And if you like our work, consider supporting us or subscribing to our newsletters!