Erika Schillinger, MD

Today, I interviewed our family doctor, who just so happened to teach on advance directives at Stanford (we go to the Stanford Family Medicine group, part of the teaching hospital at Stanford). Dr. Schillinger very quickly understood what we are attempting, and saw significant value in it. She was more interested in the advance directives aspect than the financial aspect, but thought there was significant value there.

She was aware of Nolo Press. She was also aware of POLST.  And after initially saying she wanted the site to be ad supported (ie, free or freemium), re-thought that, and quickly decided that there was enough value for users of the service that she could imagine paying for it. We talked about how the elderly often have advance directives, but are often worried that they won’t be followed. She said she would pay just for that – to know advance directives, if stored in the cloud, could be accessed by physicians when needed.

Dr. Schillinger gave me a great direct/warm referral to Alan and Betsy Carpenter, who were chronicled in this SFGate piece in 2005 for their advocacy of advance directives and patients rights. I hope to speak with them soon. She works with them in her role within the medical school’s advance directives curriculum.

She mentioned that a big advantage of doing this from the perspective of an outsider or commercial enterprise may be that often people are fearful or turned off by the institutional face of the many disjointed efforts that are out there trying to help people organize and communicate their wishes…She proffered a ‘populist’ vision of the site, emphasizing the fact that the existing entities aren’t solving this gap in the way people want it solved…

Dr. Schillinger is certainly an earlyvangelist, at least as a partner, if not as an end user/customer, and she even offered to sit on our board.

-Chris

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