The stinking rose

Well, Stanford Medicine X has drawn to a close. I have never been a huge fan of conferences but this one was clearly different. Partly because I actually gave an Ignite speech (which I am hoping will come up on YouTube soon) but mostly because it was really different than other conferences. I often leave conferences feeling like I learned something but it is rare that I leave feeling like I really want to do something to earn a trip back. But I can actually say that is how I felt as I strolled away.

I think lots of attendees feel this way which is amazing. Clearly it is a fairly select group of individuals, I slipped in because of some really tough luck this time, so doing something worthy to come back will be tough. So I will use some of the ideas I have been introduced to and see what happens. As we left all the e-patients were together and we talked about this feeling. I liked the quote I heard “you don’t need to change the world by Tuesday….Wednesday will do!”

I did not rush out though and start thinking “how might we” just yet though. I was tired as I haven’t been sleeping well, 2 weeks of work, a hectic conference and a return trip home ahead. I drove up to San Fran to meet up with Brooke and her cousin little Brooke. We went out to dinner at a spot we used to like when we were living in the area called The Stinking Rose. It is in reference to garlic. Essentially everything is garlic based and it in the past has been tasty. It seemed a bit more commercial this time though and wasn’t as good as we remembered but it was still good to have another night with Brooke.

This morning I woke up early again unable to sleep. I started thinking more about the last few days. Having some time to think about all the ideas I encountered was similar to the idea of peeling away the layers of the garlic. Medicine at its core is an amazing spice and dish if life. Often the outside appearance and the notion of what it holds is skewed. I think at this conference we really started peeling away those outer flaky layers and by preparing the tasty meat of the clove it can really become a delicacy, a treat to partake in.

Just like the restaurant last night though we have to be cautious and not over commercialize it. At med x there was a tremendous emphasis on free the information which is driving medicine. I hope that this is the future and that we can educate everyone just like a fine chef is able to take an ugly flaky, stinky, off tasting root and turn it into an aromatic, flavorful treat.

Thank you med x and team for even more rejuvenation of my love for medicine. Thanks especially to Liza Bernstien. I needed this more than I thought.

Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.



One thought on “The stinking rose

  1. Never ever think we chose you because of a disease. The disease made you a patient. Patients apply to the program. The program, I, we saw in you a person with much to offer and much to gain. You were both right and challenging.

    I don’t think that those among the ePatient class ever one have deluded ourselves into thinking that we are NOT among the most engaged, most health literate of the general patient body. Thus we have a responsibility. And we may not always be right, but we always are challenging.

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