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At one time, I gave lectures and seminars that were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. I no longer do so because I no longer believe in continuing education that is sponsored by vested interests. At minimum, any health professional who does work that is paid for my pharmaceutical companies should declare that work to patients.
--Brian Goldman, M.D., emergency physician host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art
Who can be against transparency? Surely not physicians. Our job is to treat, heal, and provide succor to our patients. Is there disagreement here? If we have interests, limitations, or preoccupations that would compromise or confuse that mission, shouldn’t we disclose that? As a patient (which we all are), I would hope so.
Dr. Leana Wen’s campaign is one we should all embrace. If any of us have trouble signing on, perhaps it is time to pause for a Hippocratic gut check. If not, let’s make Total Transparency our practice mantra.
--Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, Murdock Health Professor of Medicine and Health Policy, George Washington University
This is a campaign that honors physician leadership and candor to their patients and their community. It is reassuring to me to see on this website that the values we so respect about American medicine remain at the heart of physician practice today.
I will ask my doctor to sign on to this campaign, and I hope thousands more physicians and other clinicians appear as well. Transparency is becoming a nonnegotiable component of ethical clinical practice; these physicians are leading the way there and I thank them.
--Leah Binder, MA, MGA, President & CEO, The Leapfrog Group
Consumers are afraid to ask about conflicts of interest. But they assume that doctors work for them. They deserve to know when they also work for someone else.
--John Santa, M.D., MPH, Director, Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center
Trust is the essential ingredient in any relationship, and few issues in medicine have eroded the trust between doctor and patient more than financial conflicts of interest. Who’s My Doctor gives doctors and other clinicians an opportunity to repair and renew their relationships with patients, and to serve as an inspiration to their colleagues to reconsider their own financial conflicts of interest. Whether you are a clinician or a patient, you should use Who's My Doctor.
--Shannon Brownlee, MS, Senior Vice President, Lown Institute; Author, Overtreated
Restoring integrity to medicine is a very important project, and I salute Dr. Wen for taking the initiative to start whosmydoctor.com. In the 21st century informed patients want to know -- and deserve to know -- if their doctors have any potential conflicts of interest. Commercial values pollute too much medical science and clinical care, but many doctors are independent and put integrity and professional values first. They will be proud to share their information on this website and it can become an important resource.
--Leonore Tiefer, PhD, Co-organizer, Selling Sickness; Convenor, New View Campaign
To achieve real transformation in care, where patients and doctors are true partners in humane treatment and healing, doctors need to be transparent about who they are and what they do. This is a revolution that is necessary and long overdue—and Dr. Wen, and her lightening bolt of a book, can be a guideline to doing it.
--Samuel Shem, M.D., Ph.D., author of HOUSE OF GOD and SPIRIT OF THE PLACE
“Who’s my Doctor” is an innovative campaign that supports providers who want to demonstrate their commitment to integrity and ethics in all patient interactions. The public needs to know that the health care providers they entrust with their lives are free from personal bias and professional conflicts of interest. To date, finding this level of transparency about our providers has been close to impossible. “Who’s my Doctor” is a way for providers to be proactive about the information they share with patients and supportive of patient choices that originate from a foundation of mutual respect and trust.
--Julia Hallisy, D.D.S., Founder, The Empowered Patient Coalition
“We talk a lot about the importance of the healthcare industry better understanding – and then addressing - what makes people tick… For example, what keeps someone from making healthier decisions? What inspires and motivates them when they do? We’ve spent the past couple years researching and sharing how real life challenges – like being a caregiver, or dealing with financial stress or divorce – don’t just sap our ability to make better health decisions….but actually negatively impact our health in the process.
Making a measurable difference in how health is experienced and expressed is a true multi-modal ‘it takes a village’ kind of problem (opportunity!!)… and assessing for and addressing key health characteristics in the populations we serve can only happen if people trust the system (and the individuals behind the system) enough to share this kind of information. Transparency in the medical system is a perfect place to start – rallying together doctors and other healthcare professionals who understand the value of empathy and aren’t afraid to show it. We have a phrase that keeps us grounded in our own work: ‘Health is life…care, completely… empathy always.’ Kudos to the “Who’s My Doctor?” movement for its effort to make good on this phrase.
-Alexandra Drane, Co-Founder, Chief Visionary Officer, and Chair of Board for Eliza Corporation
Patients and families increasingly understand that health care varies. They want to know about the training, experience and ultimately the quality and outcomes of the doctor's they choose. "Who's My Doctor" and the "Total Transparency Manifesto" are wonderful first steps towards this goal.
--Carol Cronin, Executive Director, Informed Patient Institute
Dr. Leana Wen is passionate about the need for doctors to be transparent about where they get their money and who they associate with and rightly so. Right now many of us are afraid of giving out this information but fear is exactly the wrong emotion. Our relations with our patients should be the most important feature of our practice and relationships are built on trust. If our patients don’t trust us then they won’t trust the care that we provide them. Keeping parts of our lives hidden from patients is the wrong way to build trust.
--Joel Lexchin MSc, MD, Professor, School of Health Policy and Management, York University and Emergency Physician, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
We have a transparency law in Colorado and the intent of the law is for consumers to have access to information about their physicians including conflict of interests so they can make more informed decisions. There is complete transparency regarding all 49 professions under DORA. What Dr. Wen is proposing is just this without having to pass legislation to make it a reality. Bringing to light vital physician information should be a given. Physicians should not allow a conflict of interest to influence their medical judgment. It is a human factor that it does so why not eliminate the temptation. All health professionals have a responsibility to their patients as well as to themselves. --Patty Skolnik, Executive Director, Citizens for Patient Safety
Trust is vital for relationships. Patients place their trust in their physicians. We trust the information our clinicians share with us will be free of error, bias and self-interest. Medical journals require disclosure statements and I believe the same standard of transparency must also be provided for patients. Leonard Kish reminds us “data enables decisions.” “Who’s My Doctor?” ensures patients receive the necessary information needed to make informed decisions that impact our health. I support Dr. Wen in her efforts to provide further transparency for patients. I’m passionately supportive of this movement and as a patient advocate have seen the need for this culture change for a long time.
--Lisa Fields, patient advocate and Co-Founder, Healthcare Leader Tweet Chat
Patient advocacy is central to the overall development and strategy of creating an effective patient experience. Educating patients about transparency, what tools are needed for better communication, and understanding with their doctors are key. Community alliances are important to the collaboration and commitment of this process. More advocates are needed in communities to provide this service and education, and to ensure patient access, education and advocacy for all cultures. Transparency is critical to this process. When the physicians are transparent about who they are, patients will feel more relaxed and will become more open about themselves. This leads to better outcomes and better care for patients.
--Sandi Sands, President, Texas Alliance for Patient Services
In the age of healthcare reform, the role of the physician has changed tremendously, from being an independent practitioner to where many are now employees of a large healthcare delivery system. Dr. Wen’s initiative is extremely important, since it is vital for patients to know where a physician’s loyalties lie. Conflicts abound with providing the best care for patients. These include possible conflicts with the physician’s employer, conflicts with supporting device and drug companies and other conflicting financial relationships.
The physician is not mandated to disclose many of these conflicts. For example: a physician must disclose if his practice owns a hospital but not if a hospital owns a physician’s practice. All of these conflicts of interests should be disclosed to the patient and underscores the importance of the Total Transparency Manifesto.
--Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS, Chairman, Health Watch USA