President's Blog |

Revisit the Visit: The Importance of Patient Education


Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. It has had a monumental impact on the United States health care system, highlighting that many gaps in care exist. Unfortunately, as physicians, we know far too well that despite our best efforts, the health of our patients can and often is adversely affected as a result of those gaps.

As ACOG president, I have shared with you that a personalized approach to health care is key to filling those gaps and improving health outcomes. One of the most effective ways to achieve this goal, but one we don’t talk about nearly enough, is patient education. Helping our patients improve their health literacy, including improving knowledge; understanding which sources of health information offer reliable guidance; and developing skills to recognize importance of their personal risk factors, family history, and any signs or symptoms they may be experiencing, are all essential components of health maintenance.

For years, health care professionals have relied on ACOG’s patient education materials, including our print and digital pamphlets. These materials are reliable, relevant, grounded in scientific evidence, and developed through a rigorous and inclusive process. I am proud to share that with the launch of ACOG’s new patient website, that same evidenced-based women’s health information is now available directly to patients, families, and communities as a valuable educational resource.

The new website was designed specifically for patients. The content is concise and written in everyday language. There are health FAQs, patient stories, and expert columns covering topics, including sexual health, pregnancy, menopause, and more. All the content is rooted in ACOG’s evidence-based guidance and reviewed or written by obstetrician-gynecologists and other health care professionals.

If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to visit ACOG’s new patient website and tell your patients about this valuable resource. Connecting patients with evidenced-based health information helps us empower our patients to be active in their health, while strengthening the physician-patient relationship and emphasizing the importance and value of obstetrician-gynecologists. We have developed a patient website toolkit, which includes an email, letter, flyer, and social media graphics to help with sharing this resource with your patients.

I deeply appreciate the significant role you play in improving the lives of patients, families, and communities. The launch of ACOG’s new patient website is a significant resource for helping you do that. I am honored to see this site launch during my tenure, and deeply appreciate the vision of current and former ACOG leadership and the hard work of ACOG staff which led to its development.