Being confronted with a serious health condition is an uphill battle, a journey through uncharted territory or rough waters, a heavy lift—pick your metaphor. In any case, having a map is good but it can’t substitute an actual guide, a human with experience and knowledge about the path forward. In other words: We should rethink the definition of a doctor discussion guide. A guide should primarily be a person, not a PDF.

Making pharmaceutical engagement personal is more difficult than creating a PDF but over the last two decades patient engagement agencies have successfully built infrastructures and procedures to provide industry with the means needed to build meaningful relationships with their patients. By bringing real people—real patients with a real diagnosis—into the conversation, we’re able to understand what patients are looking for, what resonates, and what makes those doctor-patient conversations happen in a productive fashion.

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