Medicine X: Something More
So how was your trip? What was it like? Why Medicine X?
An influx of questions from friends in the past 24 hours. I find myself at a loss. "It was amazing!" seems empty. Incredible. Indescribable. Exhausting. Exhilarating. None of these fit. Words fail.
Why Medicine X? There is not a single way to answer this question without talking about what truly lies at the heart of the conference: connection.
Roheet captured the essence of Medicine X beautifully, and I repeat him here: the foundation of Medicine X is not the panels or presentations—it’s the people. It’s Susannah Fox introducing herself to me while I am mid-tears. It’s Joe’s passion, integrity, profanity, bravery, and the way he makes me feel like I am home. It’s Larry Chu’s indescribable hard work, eye for detail, and magnificent vision (we frequently note that he could be a high school janitor and he would still change lives on some weird other-worldly level). It’s Joshua’s dedication to stage design and the details that make MedX outwardly express the life the people breathe into the room. It’s Dr. Alan Greene’s unapologetic passion and persistence for change. It’s a group of 15 medical/health students willingness to connect with patients on a fundamental level. It’s the fire in Jerry’s eyes as he works tirelessly to partner with patients for the first time at MedX, to assuage some of our fears about Big Pharma. It’s Lilly’s Clinical Innovation Team willing to take the heat of a bunch of epatients on the spot gracefully and graciously. It’s Teigan bringing a refreshing dose of reality to the discussion of Autism. It’s Hugo’s dedication to the dream, even when it’s exhausting, confusing, or unclear. It’s Sarah’s slam poetry and downright disturbingly poignant words of wisdom that seem to arise out of the ultimate self help book. It’s Nikki’s crazy Kristen Wiig impressions and it’s Ryan’s smile. It’s the way Marvin showed me his pure heart and soul within moments of meeting, and it’s the message of love he brought to Medicine X through music. It’s Karen’s fight to translate the conversation into a language others can understand—literally. It’s Nisha’s unwavering voice. It’s Kevin’s late night stories and hearty laughter. It’s Neal’s unabashed blog post that shines a light not only on his depression, but on his beautiful spirit. It’s Rachel’s dancing at 1:30 in the morning. It’s Dr. Becker-Shutte’s warmth, light, and poolside laughter. It’s Nick’s goofy personality, endless imagination, and colorful pants.
It’s Dana and Kim fighting to bring awareness to type I diabetes, and for giving MedX a perspective it never knew it needed. It’s Chris’s dedication to kickass shirt and ties, and his unique, awe-inspiring ability to converse with anyone and everyone. It’s finding
Leslie, one of the strongest people I know, sitting quietly in our hotel room writing an ignite speech a year in advance; blossoming in front of my eyes. It’s the calming presence Matt brought to backstage chaos, and the way he managed to make me feel connected to him without so many words. It’s Justin’s stories of adventure and the way his eyes light up when he speaks of something bigger than himself. It’s the quiet fire burning in Rachel’s brain before she speaks, the way she ended up at MedX 3 years to the day of her diagnosis, and the way she puts up with my ever-changing goofy accents at two in the morning. It’s Matt’s late night humor, razor sharp wit, and his intensity. It’s Britt’s fearlessness and the way she inspires others to take steps down the road less traveled. It’s Roheet’s laugh, the visible spark in his eyes when he talks about his journey through medicine. It’s the way Brett accepted ‘failure’ into his arms and made it into something larger, and the way he manages to calm all of my anxiety in a matter of seconds. It’s the way Tal so candidly and tenderly shared his story and the story of his daughter’s journey. It’s the way we were able to connect with each other, often without words at all. This is why Medicine X. It is the people. It is about me. It is about you. It is about them.
It is about us, teaching each other how to grow, live, learn, and love. It is about us, making a commitment to creating a paradigm shift one person at a time.
It is something so much larger than us all.