Peter Lapsley, Patient Editor at the British Medical Journal (bmj), reflects on the lessons that have been learned from the first 100 articles in the Patient’s Journey series which began in 2006 (BMJ 2013;346:f1988). Patients and their clinicians each write their perspectives on a patient’s healthcare experience but within guidelines which aim to make them useful learning resources for other doctors.
Hopefully, my story, published in the bmj in 1998 with accompanying physician commentaries, had a similar educational effect (Deadly Charades, M Blennerhassett, bmj 1998; 316: 1890-91). To have acknowledgement of the issues meant so much to me. After years of meeting brick walls while trying to implement change for the sake of future patients, here at last was a platform for my voice. By publishing my story, the bmj showed they were listening to patients and accepted the need for change. I like to think this helped open the door to greater use of patients’ stories in medical education.
This also gave me the confidence to write widely in journals and prompted me to expand the article into an educational tool with discussion sections and research references to help bridge the gap between professional and patient. Thank you bmj!
(Lessons from patients’ journeys, Peter Lapsley, http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1988)