My recent article “Through the Land of Oz: Self-Advocacy in Today’s Health Care System” was mentioned in Trisha Torrey’s Patient Empowerment blog, in her post “A New Category for Medical Errors: Doctors Selling Out.” Here’s an excerpt:

When I speak to patients about sticking up for themselves, I often suggest they consider what ends they would go to in order to stick up for their own children. That’s the level of regard they should give to sticking up for themselves.

Diane Engelman is the perfect example of the parent I’m talking about. You can read her story at — the story of going to bat for her daughter, Hilary, who needed a heart valve replaced. Hilary’s treatment was stonewalled by her HMO and its surgeons — for even the toughest of us, it seemed almost impossible that Hillary would ever get the treatment she needed.

But as my friend and colleague, ePatient Dave DeBronkart describes the story,
In this case a large health plan was out-thought, outresearched and outmaneuvered by one of the most potent e-patient subtypes: the “Mama Lion.”

Diane and Hilary’s story is unusual only in that it ended up having a good outcome. For too many others, that just isn’t the case.