Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Medicine X 2014: People.

I spent four days on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, CA for the Medicine X conference, and what, now I'm just supposed to go back to "real life"?

Emotions, energy, and spirits ran as high as my blood sugar. The #MedXHangover is real.

Every conference. Every time.

So much to say, so little time to blog.

What stands out to me most, in this moment of reflection:
  • The swift manner in which handshakes gave way to hugs
  • A purposeful and welcome focus this year on mental health
  • The epitome of a "powerful patient story", this Ignite talk from epatient and fellow T1D Erin Gilmer - seriously some of the most gut-wrenching three minutes of the conference, and she wasn't even there in person which speaks to how much weight her words had/have
  • How grateful I was to see Scott Strange in the hallway immediately after I left the stage to bolt to a safe place to "come down", and for the huge bear hug he gave me before I erupted in tears
  • My ah-may-zing roommate Carly, who is a large part of the reason I had such a positive experience
  • Finally meeting super-human Susannah Fox in person
  • Seeing our diabetes community represented so well in sessions like Dana's (and Scott's) #DIYPS and Doug's Databetes project
  • How truly valuable the ePatient Advisory Board was to the ePatient delegates/scholars, and how generous they were with their time, their hearts, and their energy (to the point that I'm concerned that they all need a week-long debrief/spa vacation/nap to recover properly)
The common denominator that made this year's MedX so great? People. Their stories. The way "diabetes patient" and "arthritis patient" and "crohn's patient" all just became "patients" in one community. The way patients and physicians and students alike voiced their concerns, thoughts, questions, and visions. I saw so much respect; so much curiosity; so much drive.

I'm still processing it all, but this Just Talking podcast does a great job of capturing some ePatients' thoughts on the conference in a more crowdsourced kind of way.


  1. :sob:
    Thanks for being my roomie and being supportive and being awesome.

  2. I loved reading your live tweets of the event! Thanks for sharing ☺

  3. Would've loved to be there. It's great to see the term "epatient" being used more often. The empowerment patients have right now because of the internet is making society more conscious on how to control their own health.