Dave Debronkart Believes That Patients Should Do What?

Title: Empowering Patients: Dave Debronkart Believes They Should Take Charge of Their Health


In the realm of healthcare, the role of patients has historically been passive, with healthcare professionals taking the lead in decision-making processes. However, a growing movement aims to change this dynamic, empowering patients to actively participate in their own care. One of the advocates of this movement is Dave Debronkart, also known as “e-Patient Dave.” Debronkart, a cancer survivor and TED speaker, strongly believes that patients should take charge of their health and play an active role in their treatment decisions. In this article, we will explore Dave Debronkart’s perspective on patient empowerment and provide fascinating insights into his beliefs.

Five Interesting Facts about Dave Debronkart:

1. Patient Empowerment through Personal Experience: Dave Debronkart’s journey towards advocating patient empowerment began when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2007. His personal experience with the healthcare system, including a life-saving experimental treatment, made him realize the importance of patients taking an active role in their care.

2. Online Patient Communities: Debronkart is a strong advocate for online patient communities, which enable patients to connect with others facing similar health challenges. He believes that these communities foster knowledge-sharing, emotional support, and can even contribute to finding potential treatments or clinical trials.

3. The “e-Patient” Concept: Debronkart coined the term “e-Patient,” which stands for “empowered, engaged, equipped, and enabled.” He believes that being an e-Patient involves embracing technology, educating oneself about medical conditions, and actively participating in healthcare decisions alongside healthcare professionals.

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4. The Power of Medical Records Access: Dave Debronkart emphasizes the importance of patients having access to their medical records. He advocates for patients to be granted full access to their health information, enabling them to make informed decisions and better understand their conditions.

5. Collaborative Decision-making: Debronkart promotes the concept of shared decision-making, where patients and healthcare professionals work together as partners to make informed treatment decisions. He believes that patients should be viewed as valuable contributors to the decision-making process.

Common Questions about Dave Debronkart’s Beliefs on Patient Empowerment:

1. What is patient empowerment?
Patient empowerment refers to patients actively participating in their healthcare decisions, taking control of their health, and being actively involved in the treatment process.

2. Why is patient empowerment important?
Patient empowerment leads to better health outcomes as patients are more likely to adhere to treatment plans, understand their conditions, and have increased satisfaction with their healthcare experiences.

3. How can patients become empowered?
Patients can become empowered by educating themselves about their conditions, seeking second opinions, actively engaging in discussions with healthcare providers, and joining online patient communities.

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4. What are the benefits of online patient communities?
Online patient communities provide emotional support, facilitate knowledge-sharing, encourage patient advocacy, and can serve as a platform for finding potential treatments or clinical trials.

5. How does access to medical records empower patients?
Access to medical records allows patients to review and understand their health information, make more informed decisions, and actively participate in their care.

6. What is shared decision-making?
Shared decision-making involves patients and healthcare professionals collaborating to make treatment decisions based on the best available evidence, patient preferences, and values.

7. What role does technology play in patient empowerment?
Technology enables patients to access health information, connect with healthcare professionals virtually, and engage with online patient communities, fostering empowerment and knowledge-sharing.

8. How can patient empowerment impact the healthcare system?
Patient empowerment has the potential to improve healthcare outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and enhance patient satisfaction by fostering a more patient-centered approach.

9. Are healthcare professionals supportive of patient empowerment?
While some healthcare professionals may be resistant to patient empowerment due to concerns about patient knowledge and compliance, many support and encourage patients to take an active role in their care.

10. Can patient empowerment lead to potential conflicts with healthcare providers?
Effective communication and mutual respect are crucial to avoid conflicts. Patients and healthcare providers should work together as partners, valuing each other’s expertise and knowledge.

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11. Is patient empowerment only applicable to chronic conditions?
Patient empowerment is relevant to all healthcare situations, from acute illnesses to chronic conditions. All patients can benefit from being actively involved in their care.

12. How can patients ensure they are well-informed without overwhelming themselves?
Patients should seek reliable sources of information, consult healthcare professionals, and join online patient communities to gather knowledge and support.

13. Can patient empowerment lead to self-diagnosis or unnecessary treatments?
Patient empowerment, when combined with responsible information gathering and collaboration with healthcare professionals, helps patients make informed decisions, reducing the likelihood of self-diagnosis or unnecessary treatments.

14. What is the future of patient empowerment?
The future of patient empowerment is promising, with advancements in healthcare technology, increased access to health information, and evolving healthcare models emphasizing patient-centered care.


Dave Debronkart’s advocacy for patient empowerment highlights the importance of patients actively participating in their healthcare decisions. Through his personal experience and beliefs, Debronkart encourages patients to educate themselves, engage in shared decision-making, and embrace technology to take charge of their health. By empowering patients, we can pave the way for a more patient-centered healthcare system that improves outcomes and enhances the overall healthcare experience.

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