Regular readers know that a large part of my becoming a global advocate has been the vision and influence of Lucien Engelen at Radboud University Medical Center (RUMC) in the town of Nijmegen, on The Netherlands’ eastern border. Way back in 2010 he announced that his upcoming TEDx would be primarily about patients; the TED Talk I did there put my speaking career into a catapult; then he put his own money where his mouth is by launching the #PatientsIncluded initiative, saying he would not attend any event where patients weren’t actively encouraged to participate; and he has continued to lead in thoughts and actions, every year since (including 3D-printing my lung metastases last year, below). Lucien is the standard, the exemplar of the “pay me with action” clause of my price policy.
For that reason, when he asked me this summer to participate in something even newer – something brand new – I immediately said yes. What was it? A three day event, “Inaugural Grand Rounds,” launching a completely redesigned curriculum at RUMC – redesigned with patients participating in the process. Yes, patients – people with no medical experience – except as “the ultimate stakeholders”; as patients, helping guide how we teach students.