Stanford Medicine X – Student Voices
Let me start off by saying I’m learning so much at this conference. Dr. Larry Chu has done a fabulous job organizing and orchestrating, a true class act of knowledge, technology, and passion.
Everything about this conference has me nodding my head and saying, “Yes! THAT is why I’m involved in social media & health technology.” Med X has maintained a human side by giving a loud voice to patients, something I think is incredibly important to maintaining compassion in healthcare, and still managed to be on top of medical information by including a great mix of emerging health technology.
We’ve heard from patients, investors, lawyers, doctors, professors, engineers, computer scientists…all kinds of people.
So, what’s missing? The voice of students.
I’m so disappointed in the lack of involvement given to those of us in the throws of medical education. We are here. We are watching. Many are even help organize and offer ideas to the planning of the conference. But, we have no voice…
This is not a new thing at medical conferences, medical students and young physicians (residents, newly practicing docs) are often left out of speaking positions and panels. Perhaps it’s due to time and money constraints. Or maybe the reason is that we don’t have the expertise that many of these wonderfully seasoned docs have and we aren’t a traditionally valued opinion group. I don’t think those are great reasons, though. In fact, I think that lack of experience is a great reason we should have a voice.
Why do we deserve a voice?
We are in a unique place in our lives – not quite general population, but not quite healthcare provider. We still have the idealism that not fully understanding the medical system allows, but we have enough insight into the medicine to express ideas that are consistent with medical practice.
Why are we valuable in the ePatient realm?
One of the biggest echoings I’ve heard from the amazing patients here is that their stories aren’t being heard by their providers. I talk a little in this post about our role as medical students allowing us to be more present with patients. We have time to listen to patients. We are afforded an opportunity to hear their stories, because we don’t have 25 patients to round on – we have 2. We can offer an infantile medical perspective mixed with a healthy naivety of knowing patient stories.
We deserve a voice at these conferences, because we have a lot to offer. We deserve a voice, because we are the future. We deserve a voice, because sometimes being an expert isn’t always the best way to develop new and innovative ideas. Steve Jobs could’ve told you that.