Longtime readers know that this has been a long hard road, creating a “market” for a patient voice to speak culture change at health conferences. This is an anniversary week worth noting, on several fronts … it’s the fifth birthday of not just my TED Talk, but two other events that bent my trajectory.
First, the TED Talk – I know you’ve seen it, but here it is anyway. Click it (to boost the view count:-)) or just skip ahead.
Strictly speaking the birthday was a week ago – April 4, 2011. I stepped on stage onto the “big red dot” that TED Talks are famous for, and faced an audience of 900 in a theater with two balconies. The place was historic: Maastricht, where the European Union had been formed 19 years earlier. Fifteen minutes before going on stage I’d handed in my revised slides (modified in the two hours after lunch); not to be outdone on the “last minute” thing, waiting back stage, host Lucien Engelen had just told me “You have to do” the e-Patient Rap, created by Keith Boone (@Motorcycle_Guy). (In the talk when I say “a little improv,” I meant it – it was not planned, not even rehearsed.)
Sixteen minutes later, the talk ended with the chant “Let Patients Help!” With a standing ovation happily in my tummy, I stepped off.