The Power of Peers

Patients need doctors to diagnose illness, but they need each other to feel better.

Hemophilia A patient Tim Grams (left) and Hector Grisalez (right) whose son is living with hemophilia participate in a round table discussion about living with the condition in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Hemophilia A patient Tim Grams (left) and Hector Grisalez (right) whose son is living with hemophilia participate in a round table discussion about living with the condition in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Two doctors who have faced their own illnesses emphasized the value of patient-to-patient connections in a jointly authored article in the New York Times.

Though you need a doctor to get a medical diagnosis, the two physicians acknowledged that sharing stories and benefitting from the experiences of others helps tremendously. The article, by doctors Aaron E. Carroll and Austin Frakt, was called “Sometimes Patients Simply Need Other Patients.” 

Doctors and other health care providers know the science and the medical protocols, but they won’t know everything about how an illness is experienced, the physicians wrote.

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CSL Behring’s Dina Inverso understands the value of peer-to-peer interactions, especially with rare diseases. She leads the company’s patient engagement program in the United States. Earlier this year, CSL Behring hosted its first patient summit, bringing together more than 40 patients with rare and serious diseases.

“Patients engaging with each other brings forth an authentic exchange of information beyond the clinical data you traditionally get from your clinical team,” Inverso said. “Sharing a journey, including the highs and lows, will help another navigate their path with more confidence.”

Check out our patient stories about people who are living with:

Primary immune deficiency

Hemophilia

von Willebrand disease

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Hereditary angioedema