From the lens of a patient who recently experienced major surgery, I now realize how difficult it is to be participatory when you are in pain and taking large doses of pain medication which dulls the senses and puts you in a place where you are not really thinking about anything but how to get through the next couple of days.

I consider myself to be an empowered patient who fully participates in my health care, questions my clinicians, and evaluates the risk/benefit of treatment plans presented by my clinicians.

I use the health data my clinician offers, including the reports and notes that are in my electronic health record, and confer with people who have had some experience with the same or similar conditions. I always go one step further and search the web for relevant information that applies to my particular health concerns. I provide feedback to my doctors and never hesitate to speak up and ask questions. I tap the wisdom and advice of my peers and encourage my providers to be participatory.

How to be Participatory in the Face of Adversity | e-Patients.net