Selling Sickness 2013

partnership lecture in washington

KW and LT presented a live-streamed “National Grand Rounds” on October 19, 2013 at the annual conference of the National Physicians Alliance in Washington titled

Challenging the Selling of Sickness: A New Partnership Movement of Professionals and Advocates

Our goal was to describe

  • Our individual backgrounds as healthcare activists;
  • The reasons we formed an advocate-academic partnership to organize the 2013 conference, “Selling Sickness: Patients before Profits;”
  • How the conference used partnering among scholars, caregivers, patients, researchers, advocates, lawyers, journalists, physicians, whistleblowers and activists to analyze the global tide of disease-mongering;
  • How the feedback after the conference made us aware that the dialog among these constituencies was the most valuable takeaway;
  • Barriers to this kind of collaborative partnership (e.g., stereotypes, disparate bases of evidence, hierarchies, loyalties);
  • Steps required to build collaborative partnerships (e.g. an equality not invitational model, use of stories, active listening skills, creating time and opportunities);
  • The differences between our professional-advocate partnership and the popular rhetoric of patient-centered care and drug development or patient-engaged processes (which we see as more “division of labor” than true partnerships);
  • How this all fits into the wider world of challenges to selling sickness such as the Dartmouth/Lown/Pharmed Out conferences and “Choosing Wisely.”

We will be looking for other opportunities to share our message in person, electronically, and on paper. Thanks to the National Physicians Alliance for giving us this wonderful platform.


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