Wanting to be part of something bigger #medx

I so want for my experience to be part of something bigger than just me going through cancer. I want it to be used to help learn more about cancer, or to help teach medical students, or something – pretty much anything – to make this experience something that others can learn from.

I do think there is room for patient experiences in medical education – I just haven’t figured out how to make my experience be one of those experiences that gets to count. Interesting that as I wrote this, a note about the Stanford Medical X conference crossed my twitter stream. This is a conference that is at the intersection of medical education and emerging technologies – it sounds perfect for me! It was last weekend, so I’m sad that I missed it 🙁 I’m going to have to keep a close eye on their site, eagerly awaiting an announcement on how I might be involved in the conference next year!

In another interesting twist, a few weeks ago I came across a free online course (MOOC) on Patient Engagement Design. I figured I might as well sign up, as it would give me a better sense of what physicians think of what I’ve been calling patient advocacy – but I’m wondering if the better term is patient activation (seems like a weird choice of words to me – like I’m a robot that needs to be turned on) – anyway, at least part of the reason for attending the course is to learn the lingo. I’m particularly interested in the intersection of patient education and social media – and perhaps I’m a good person to be studying this?

I do find it curious that the MOOC does not include any form of “statement of accomplishment”. It has been placed on the internet, and runs for free, but there is nothing put in place to motivate students to complete. As design characteristics of MOOCs is something that I typically would feature in my other blog, I expect that I work through this course I’ll be cross posting my reflections to – http://rjh.goingeast.ca.

PS: MOOC stands for “massively open online course” … it has been a bit of a phenomenon in higher education over the last 2-3 years. I’ve been rather involved in a few of the MOOCs and done some research (and co-authored some articles) in this area.


  • Becky

One Comment

  • Hi Rebecca, left a note at Going East that aligns a bit with wanting to be a participant in medical care and not just there. Was talking to the sister of the guy who runs the local medical clinic today and when she commented how healthy I looked for a chemo patient I blurted that I couldn’t just stay alive to be played with by doctors and she laughed like crazy.

    There’s a precarious relationship between us and as she’s both the person who hired me a few years as a researcher without experience, spent hours with Leslie when she was very ill and was also the one who ordered me fired for back-talking the college president. Yet there’s something in her honesty that also exists in her brother–no decorated falsehoods–that I like. Guess there’s a tension with her I wish existed with the doctors I deal with. No need for reassurance or social graces that could the relationship. It’s in her brother too, except he presents as a jerk that’s hard to get past.

    Off to class.

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