I’m currently out in Palo Alto, CA attending the Stanford Medicine X #MedX conference. A few hours into Day 2, and I know I need to get some thoughts down and try to dissemble the jumble of words floating around my head right now.
Also, it’s a world full of cosmic coincidence, because I happen to be in one of the worst flares I’ve had in quite awhile while I’m out here. Is my body trying to tell me that I’m with my people, I’m where I belong? Okay, okay, body. I get it. But maybe just a gentle tap on the shoulder next time? That’s #ChronicLife.
The first day of #MedX was overwhelming, beautiful, inspiring, humbling, and so many other adjectives. I am blown away by both the Medicine X program, and the speakers, patients, and leaders showcasing their skills, thoughts, and successes with us during these few days. My first reaction is that I absolutely have to speak at this conference next year. I have so many things I want to say–I’ll be applying again immediately after the application is posted.
Something that Medicine X has that I argue no other healthcare conference has touched, or succeeded at, is patient first, or patient forward thinking. #MedX is the catalyst for healthcare patient experience, innovation, and engagement. I’m so touched to be around people who fight and who are passionate about exactly what I am passionate about. As you all know through following me, my goal is to raise awareness, make others with chronic diseases feel less alone, educate, and feel connected. We CAN better the healthcare systems around the world. We CAN be patient first.
I have always felt like I have a unique perspective given that I fight 6ish chronic diseases and I work for a major healthcare system, a top 15 health system in the United States. It can be very frustrating, but I’m grateful to understand the thought process behind the consumer/patient, and the provider/health system. It can make it difficult to adhere on both ends of the spectrum. However, my empathy tends to be higher and more well-rounded than most. That’s not to say that there are not things I disagree with on both sides. And if I had to choose one, I would be able to do so with no hesitation. But both sides are invaluable at the end of the day.
I do plan to write some more granular posts about specific topics from #MedX, but that’s going to take some time. I need to digest and decompress afterwards. I’m just so motivated and inspired. I feel like I’m home. I’m with people who have the same goals for life as I do. People who get the way that I physically feel every day. People who understand the dire need to put patients first and to pay attention to chronic diseases and chronic disease patients. Just.. wow.
Another great part about #MedX is the diverse group of individuals offering their opinions, their experiences, their passions, and their work. The conference is focused on patients, on ePatients, but it brings together healthcare individuals from every avenue. Physicians, nurses, administrators, CEOs, health systems, scientists, researchers, patients, caregivers, inventors, and much more. This cumulative approach to healthcare technology and emerging concepts is what will break boundaries, knock down walls, and create change.
All I know, is that I will be a part of it. I have to be a part of it.