Society for Participatory Medicine

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The Society for Participatory Medicine (S4PM) is a not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting the concept of participatory medicine, where providers and patients closely collaborate in medical decision making and patients participation is encouraged and valued. Participatory Medicine is a model of cooperative health care that seeks to achieve active involvement by patients, professionals, caregivers with in a patient centered culture based on transparency and empathy. The goal of such collaboration is to decrease medical errors, improve patient education, increase patient satisfaction and improve outcomes.


S4PM was started in January 2009 when online health information became increasingly available and patients started to benefit more from an online community of other patients and providers. In 2007, Dave deBronkart, who is one of the founding members of S4PM, was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer with a grim prognosis. His physician prompted him to join online communities for cancer patients to gather knowledge he could share with his care team. "What I found and what I continue to hear today ... is that there's a lot of information developed in the last few years that is not yet in the hands of every oncologist in the world," said deBronkart, a software technology professional in Nashua, N.H.[1] A common concern at that time was that patients will bog down physicians with stack google articles, which they don't have the time to read in the course of a visit. But as the breadth and quality of health information online increased over the years, patients were prepared with information to ask their physicians better questions. Collaboration between well-informed and motivated "e-patients" and physicians will result in increased patient satisfaction and may contribute to better outcomes.


  • To guide patients and caregivers to be actively engaged in their health and health care experiences.
  • To guide health professional practices where patient experience and contribution is an integral goal of excellence.
  • To encourage mutual collaboration among patients, health professionals, caregivers and others allowing them to partner in determining care.[2]


Currently the S4PM has 293 members from different countries and growing. Membership is open to anyone for a $30 annual fee and provides exclusive member benefits including participation in discussion lists, network in society's meetings, and involvement in leadership. S4PM also offers membership for organizations

Online Presence

  • Journal of Participatory Medicine - The Journal of Participatory Medicine is a peer-reviewed, open access journal. [3]
  • ePatients - Site dedicated to patient stories, blogs and other articles dedicated to participatory medicine[4]



Submitted by (Erika Green)