Episode 35 of The Patients Speak Podcast: Highlights from Interviews with Healthcare Authors

Guest 1 — Surbhi Sarna, who began as an engineer but ultimately founded a company as its CEO, later becoming a partner at Y Combinator to mentor startups in the healthcare domain.

*Prioritizing Patients in Innovation: Surbhi emphasizes the importance of putting patients at the forefront, an approach ingrained in her journey, where patients waiting for solutions drive determination through challenges.

*Remembering Patients in the Process: Surbhi recalls that amidst late-night work and challenges, the reminder that patients were waiting for solutions motivated the team to persevere.

*Impact on Startup Culture: Surbhi addressed startups and founders at Y Combinator, highlighting that patients are the driving force behind innovation, and their needs should remain paramount.

*Personal Patient Experience**: Surbhi shares her personal journey with a health scare, leading her to advocate for women’s health and wellness.


Guest 2 — Sushma Subramanian, a science and healthcare journalist and professor, discusses the sensory shift in medicine, from tactile-focused care to distant technology-driven examinations.

*Comfort and Communication: Sushma emphasizes the comforting role of touch in patient-doctor interactions and the potential to incorporate sensory experiences for more patient-centric care.

*Consumer Advocacy and Touch: Sushma explores the role of consumers in advocating for touch-centric care, suggesting that providers and patients can collaborate to enhance the patient experience.

Sushma’s Website

Guest 3 — Urvashi Bhatnagar, combining her Doctor of Physical Therapy background with a Yale MBA, addresses sustainability and health inequities within the healthcare system, underscoring patients’ empowerment to drive change.

*Climate Change and Health: Urvashi highlights the interconnectedness of climate change and human health, emphasizing the need for health systems to address environmental factors affecting patients.

*Patient’s Voice: Urvashi discusses patients’ influential role in advocating for a sustainable and healthier environment, underscoring the importance of communication between patients and providers.

Urvashi’s Website

Guest 4 — Dr. Ann Hester, author of “Patient Empowerment 101,” explains her motivation to bridge the gap between doctors’ perspectives and patients’ understanding, leading to better outcomes.

*Balancing Power Dynamics: Dr. Hester discusses the power dynamic between doctors and patients, emphasizing patients’ ability to be better prepared for medical interactions and contribute to their care.

*Patients as Equipped Participants: Dr. Hester emphasizes the need for patients to be better prepared, allowing for more efficient medical visits, fewer unnecessary tests, and improved communication.

Ann’s Website

Conclusion: The Patients Speak podcast is dedicated to amplifying the patient’s voice within the healthcare landscape, engaging with leaders across various healthcare domains to facilitate meaningful change. Stay tuned for more episodes where we listen to … the patients speak.

Hosted by Mark Stinson, and Produced by BSB Media