RWJF Year in Research: An Interview with Thomas L. Delbanco
Voted No. 2 Most Influential Research Article of 2012, Thomas Delbanco and Janice Walker co-direct OpenNotes, a project that tests the radical yet simple idea that physicians’ notes should be for the patient, not just about the patient.
What was the inspiration for this study—the critical knowledge gap you were trying to fill or the challenge you were trying to address?
My interest was triggered by one patient about 35 years ago. He was a printer, and as I was talking with him about what I thought might be a problem with alcohol because of the history he was giving me, I realized he could read everything I was writing upside down. I said, “You know, I’m trying to decide whether I should write ‘alcohol abuse’ on your problem list, because there’s not much point in my writing it down if you don’t think you have it. But I’m worried about it and we should agree on whether or not to write it down.” And he was silent for about 30 seconds, and then he said, write it down.
Read the full interview with Dr. Delbanco here.