Recently, I asked a group of our closest Medicine X friends and colleagues to join me for a three-day spring retreat in Washington, DC. As I looked around the room, I saw something remarkable.
Participating in the discussions about the future of Medicine X were a doctor, a nurse, two pharmacists, an Internet geologist, a hospital administrator, a policy leader, three patient community builders, artists, designers, and a dog.
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Our conversations about our values at Medicine X mapped out concepts such as “give every person the dignity they deserve”, “value and respect the experience each person brings”, and “give everyone permission to be human.”
At our founding four years ago we set out to create a world-leading patient engagement program where:
- At least 10% of our seats would be allocated to patients;
- Selection of patients for our programs would be merit-based and needs-blind, and conducted in a peer-reviewed and transparent selection process;
- Travel, housing and program scholarships would be awarded on a financial-need basis;
- Wellness programs would be created to care for our patients and delegates;
- Free open-access video livestream and social media would be used to engage those unable to attend in person and join the conversation.
Because of these founding principles, we are sometimes referred to as “the patient conference”. Our conference tag line at inception was “an academic medical conference designed for everyone”. We still believe a better future for health care requires everyone’s voice.