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Talking to Patients About Health Policy

Posted in News on 12.14.2017

Alosa Health founder and clinical consultant Dr. Jerry Avorn offered an opinion in the Journal of the Medical American Association’s (JAMA’s) essay feature on the topic of engaging patients in health policy talk.  

The question of whether clinicians should interact with their patients about health policy debates remains contentious; some argue that doing so is either ideologically inappropriate or pragmatically impossible given the time constraints of an average patient encounter, but Dr. Avorn makes the case that talking about policy debates which will directly impact patient care is actually a core responsibility of clinicians. 

Dr. Avorn also acknowledges that, given the myriad of social issues that impact health (i.e.: sanitation, nutrition, poverty) and the varying degrees to which they may be perceived as falling within a clinician’s purview. Therefore, he suggests, might be reasonable to begin somewhat more narrowly with “a concrete issue like health care coverage”.

Curious about the single action that Dr. Avorn recommends all clinicians take to engage with patients in this way? Read about it here.