Originally Published in Inside Mayo Clinic Research on Aug. 14, 2015
Having your research published in The BMJ, the prestigious medical publication formerly known as the British Medical Journal, is an accomplishment in itself. It’s another, altogether, to have the journal’s editor in chief call out your work first on the list of the 20 most extraordinary articles published in the past 20 years.
“Victor Montori and colleagues changed how I thought when they introduced me to the idea of minimally disruptive medicine,” wrote Fiona Godlee, BMJ’s editor in chief, in the journal’s July 9 top 20 edition.
For those who haven’t heard of it, minimally disruptive medicine seeks to advance patient goals for health, health care and life, using effective care programs designed and implemented in a manner that respects the capacity of patients and caregivers and minimizes the burden of treatment — the healthcare footprint — the care program imposes on their lives.
In other words, they’re trying to make health care easier for patients — less burdensome, less confusing and less time consuming. This is particularly so in the management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and depression.
Tucked into a small workspace in the Plummer Building, on Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, Minn., members of Knowledge and Evaluation Research (KER) Unit work tirelessly to improve the patient-physician encounter and promote what they call a “patient revolution.”
It’s not a violent revolt or a bloody coup, but in many ways it does represent an upending of the current medical system. This revolution seeks to shift power away from providers, payers and health care institutions — the ivory towers of medical care in the U.S. — and puts that power instead into the hands of confident and well-informed patients.
The work in the KER Unit, however, is only as good as the clinical services and departments who share their patient experiences and then work together to help shape a better encounter for everyone.
“Our work would be nothing without our collaborations from across the clinic,” says Victor Montori, M.D., an endocrinologist and medical director of the KER Unit.
Dr. Montori’s deference and the KER Unit’s humility are certainly in keeping with Mayo Clinic’s collaborative, one-hand-washes-the-other culture. They don’t really want the recognition, they say. They would prefer to recognize their many partners.
And so, here they are: Partnering departments include Cardiology, Endocrinology, Emergency Medicine, Gastroenterology, Pharmacy, Primary Care, Psychiatry, the Office of Population Health Management, the Mayo Clinic Health System, and the Mayo Clinic Care Network.