Feedback from event organizers and participants
In my view professional speaking carries an obligation to deliver distinct value to each audience – especially when an important cause is involved, and mere talk is not enough. I work with each client to understand the audience’s background and interests, the client’s objectives, and the context of my talk within the event. My goal is nothing less than to leave each audience with a new view of life, because that can change what people are capable of achieving.
I hope these testimonials selected from six hundred events in all sectors of healthcare will give you a sense of what I’d like to create for you.
Bob Wachter MD – world leader in patient safety; Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine at UCSF. Author of New York Times science best-selling book The Digital Doctor.
Virtual address to Geneva, Switzerland:
“Superb! Superb! No other word for it. A knockout.”
Host Dr. Ken Masters, PhD
Asst. Professor, Medical Informatics,
Medical Education & Informatics Department
College of Medicine & Health Sciences, SQU, Sultanate of Oman
“That was beyond a home run.”
– Mark Bertolini, Chairman and CEO – Aetna Leaders Forum.
(We’d spent more than an hour together conferring to understand his objectives and define what a “home run” would be.)
“Magical and inspiring …
As you could tell by the audience’s ovation, your presentation received an outstanding evaluation. … You were the highest ranked of the Roundtable – our group tends to be harsh on outside speakers so you truly are a home run.”
Rebecca Harrington, Co-founder and President, The Leadership Institute
“Hysterically, fabulously great!”
Senior marketing executive, PWC at their Health 180 forum
“I’ve been participating in these meetings for 20 years
and that was the best speech I’ve seen.”
Top-level executive at company’s annual
global leadership meeting, Madrid
“Truly one of the greatest programs we’ve had at Seattle Rotary
and it ended with a spontaneous and much-deserved standing ovation.”
Hamilton McCulloh, VP of Programs, Rotary Club of Seattle
“Six months later, people are still remarking on your powerful speech at our annual meeting. You tell pointed stories that rouse us to act, with some gentle humor and some not-so-gentle tragedy to remind us why what you are saying matters.”
“You are an educator and a coach, unafraid to speak the truth but determined to use that truth to guide us all in new directions. I don’t think anyone was the same after hearing your inspirational speech.”
The Leapfrog Group Annual meeting (video here) – Leah Binder, President
Additional comments continue after this essay.
Essay by Josh Rubin, JD, MBA, MPH, MPP
Founding President and CEO, Learning Health Community
On an almost monthly basis, I speak at or participate in a health conference, and I have organized several working meetings in my career. e-Patient Dave is among the best speakers I have ever seen, at my own events or anywhere.
In 2012, I worked with recognized health leaders, including former National Coordinators for Health IT from the Bush and Obama administrations, to organize the Learning Health System Summit at The National Press Club in Washington, DC. Our objective was nothing short of building a moment of consensus on shared core values and mobilizing it into an international movement to transform health. Dave’s keynote speech was instrumental in making this happen.
At the end of a long first day of this two-day multi-stakeholder working meeting. Dave delivered a resounding keynote dinner speech. After speaking in Maine that morning he adapted his extraordinary speech on the fly, tailoring it precisely to this very different audience. Dave eloquently and passionately reminded all of us at intellectual and emotional levels precisely who we are doing this for (and with, and why): patients, families, and caregivers.
Dave’s keynote had senior executives, academics, technology innovators, senior government officials, policy wonks, clinicians, and patient activists alike jumping out of their seats. The audience laughed together, learned together, experienced righteous indignation (at the unsustainable and unconscionable status quo in healthcare) together, and gave Dave a lengthy standing ovation together. Most importantly, Dave genuinely inspired people from diverse backgrounds and interests to spend the next day working together, for all the right reasons.
Dave’s energy and passion are infectious. As a master of packaging messages to make them understandable, actionable, and engaging, Dave followed up on his speech by producing an extraordinary video and corresponding blog post that helped us to more broadly disseminate our common vision.
My colleagues and I are eternally grateful to Dave and highly recommend him as a speaker for any event aimed at advancing human health and empowering patients.
“Thank you, thank you. My inbox is exploding
with long treatise emails & brief ones about last evening.”
Joyce Cappiello PhD, FNP, FAANP, University of NH Nursing
(on a meeting of the local chapter of Sigma Theta Tau,
the nursing honor society)
“This is beautiful. I cannot thank you enough. This is absolutely PERFECT!
I have a segment where I talk about you and your story, but because you summarize this so well, I am going to make you my closing comment.
THANK YOU!!!!! Very much appreciated.”
— Virtual speech for Ben Miller, Assistant Professor
University of Colorado School of Medicine
re a short video I recorded on physicians in social media
“Fasten your seatbelts, raise your tray tables, and clear the runway
if @ePatientDave is your pilot today.”
– Susannah Fox, in a tweet to Patients Like Me
“Highest evaluations I’ve seen for a speaker.”
– Bonnie Westra PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
Co-Director Center for Nursing Informatics, University of Minnesota
Evaluations and remarks submitted by event planners
Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, Orlando, Jan. 2018 (Shared keynote with Dr. Danny Sands)
Full text of evaluations here. Specific feedback:
- “Best presentation I have ever seen at a conference. They touched on so many areas of concern from the patient’s and doctor’s perspective. Perfect topic for this era of technology driven patients and doctors. Loved it!”
- “Great presentation and approach to involve patients. I want to expand this in how we plan our activities. Thank you.”
- “This program was an excellent example of how to create engaging impactful education for medical professions.”
- “One of the most beneficial sessions I’ve ever attended.”
- “Loved this. Better than previous key notes by far.”
- “Wonderful way to kick off the conference!”
Leadership Institute, Boston:
Audience evaluation: Outstanding or excellent: 96.4%; mean score 4.71 out of 5
- Excellent and could not agree more. Will have to do some thinking about what this could mean to all.
- Very inspiring. I admire anyone who has that passion.
- Interesting but not necessarily doable for all patient populations.
- Hats off to ePatient Dave for bringing it home – the patient is the focus.
- Excellent presentation.
Stratis Health, Bloomington, MN
Event: COC meeting (consumers, staff, legislative aides):
“Dave is an excellent presenter, moving easily between stories that tug at the heart to data and information that grounds his presentation in evidence. He offers a winning combination of authenticity and credibility to engage an audience.
“Dave asked all the right questions in advance to prepare for his audience. We had a terrific give-and-take discussion that helped shape his presentation to fit my audience. Based on the laughter, gasps, and thoughtful nods during his presentation—and the questions and comments after—he engaged and inspired my meeting participants.
Deb McKinley, MPH
Communications and Outreach Manager
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – Aligning Forces for Quality
Audience evaluation: “Very useful or useful”: 98.4%
- “Incredible – he should be at every meeting – the universal man, speaks for all of us.”
- “What about having e-Patient Dave work with us as a Technical Assistance Support? He has a helpful and revolutionary approach.”
- “His energy is contagious!”
- “Important perspective – most important to highlight – for every story he shared you know there are many more…tech powerful for connecting individuals around care issues, life and death.”
- “Good balance of motivation and concrete tidbits and examples of good ideas.”
- “Generated lots of practical ideas and provided good nuggets!”
- “Very engaging, likeable speaker”
Minnesota Tiger Nursing Informatics:
Full text of evaluations here. Audience evaluation:
- Subject knowledge: 4.93 out of 5
- Effectiveness of speaker: 4.96 out of 5
- “I will reduce the info gap by engaging my patient base by inviting them to sign up for MyChart, if they haven’t already, inviting them to use it if they have, and by including a written agenda with eval to facilitate better communication and more office stewardship of patient roles / goals.”
- “Engage patients – even sign them up as in-patients”
- “Incorporate content in the classes I teach”
- “Have them populate history (family, medical, surgical, social) at kiosk or at home via portal.”
- “Educate myself first with MyChart – personal use”
- “I could use more informatics in my life” :-)
St. Louis Business Health Coalition (Coalition of self-insured employers)
- “We could not have found a more perfect patient advocate or a more motivating story-teller.”
- “Phenomenal, I look forward to seeing his vision become the norm in patient care.”
P2 Collaborative of Western New York (Part of Robert Wood Johnson’s Aligning Forces for Quality)
- “Highlight of the conference, unbelievably inspirational guy! Glad I stayed!” (Last talk of the conference)
- “He knocked it out of the park for me. He was progressive, engaging, thoughtful, and really made you think of all sorts of directions we need to be going with technology, policy and health promotion.”
- “I was still thinking what he said days after.”
- “The big point is that one can, without being mortally afflicted, do a great deal to help our doctors do what’s needed.”
- “He was AWESOME. Empowering people is what healthcare should be all about.”
- “Riveting presentation” … “Simply fantastic” … “Dynamic, engaging, and endearing speaker who taught me a lot.”
Levitt Distinguished Lecture, University of Colorado Dept of Family Medicine
- Valuable use of time, 4.86 out of 5
- Presenter’s style, 4.81
- Learning objectives were met, 4.83.
- “Personal stories, not just tear-jerkers – but fuel for a new vision…”
- “Excellent speaking skills”
- “Engaging and informative”
- “A man who walks the talk and has so much to teach/offer so many”
- “Powerful! Reflecting on 40+ years of practice, I wish I thought this way long ago.”
- “You really knocked it outa the park”
- “We have a number of outstanding Levitt Lecturers, but this stands as the best of the best as indicated on the enclosed … it was your soulful, personal connection that resonated with the audience.”
SSM Healthcare Annual Summit, St. Louis
Audience evaluation: “Valuable info that can be applied in my daily life: 3.86 out of 4
Second highest rated plenary, behind Irish Tenor and Paralympics record holder Ronan Tynan
- “Listening to Dave deBronkart and Ronan Tynan on Wednesday afternoon was awe inspiring.”
- Most valuable: “The extremely thought provoking remarks of Jay Parkinson and Dave deBronkart”; “Jay Parkinson, Dave, deBronkart and Dr. Berwick were excellent”
- “E-patient Dave was great. Please have him speak to the doctors.”
Mayo Ragan Social Media Summit
Audience evaluation: 4.82 out of 5.
Ragan Communications CEO Mark Ragan said that “SeattleMamaDoc” Wendy Sue Swanson and I received the first two standing ovations in the 500 events Ragan has produced.
- “e-Patient Dave’s presentation was incredible.”
- “Loved hearing Dave’s story and how he used any resources he had (esp. social media) to find out about his disease, and then help others. Definitely walked away with the message that healthcare providers need to get in and help in the social media realm, too.”
- “WOW! He was my favorite to listen to! I loved and appreciated his honesty, how he incorporated personal pictures into his presentation and loved his sense of humor — One thing that would have been nice to have were some tissues — his story truly touched my heart!”
Military Health System
- 4.83 out of 5 on “Quality of this speaker (Knowledge, expertise, teaching ability, effectiveness, relevance, etc).”
- 4.84 out of 5 on “How well are you now able to complete the learning objective?”:
Ninth National Quality Colloquium, Harvard
- “Could have been backbone of a cohesive theme for opening session.”
- “May be the most important addition to our thinking.”
- “Superb, real life information.”
Second highest rated plenary speaker (4.65 out of 5), behind Atul Gawande.
Medicine 2.0 Congress, Toronto (my first speech in healthcare, 2009)
As the organizer of the Medicine 2.0 Conference Series I was looking for an enthusiastic, motivating, and emotionally moving keynote speaker. I found him in e-Patient Dave. He delivered a mesmerizing keynote speech that got people talking for hours, days, and months after the event – even made it into a CNN story.
Dave wowed the audience and set the scene for a patient-focused, participatory meeting. His contributions were not limited to his formal speech, but continued throughout the meeting, through his interactions with other speakers and participants. Dave is a true champion for our cause of openness, collaboration, and participation in health care.
–Gunther Eysenbach MD, publisher, Journal of Internet Medical Research.
HIMSS (Health Information Management Systems Society) Northern California chapter
Board member feedback:
- “Mesmerizing speaker”
- “A phenomenal aspect of our program”
“The Quantified Self” meeting at Wired headquarters
“e-Patient Dave spoke to our group with the passion and intelligence that characterizes his influential contribution to patient-centered health care and the personal data revolution. It was a highlight of the meeting.” Gary Wolf, Contributing Editor, Wired
“Life changing presentation” – Audience member at Quantified Self
“When ICSI was looking for a great keynoter to deliver the empowered e-patient, participatory medicine message to a large audience of physicians, we soon discovered that e-Patient Dave was our #1 draft pick. We could not be more pleased” – Kent Bottles, President, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
Audience evaluation: 4.9 out of 5
Mentions in publications and blogs:
- “one of the hottest speakers at health care meetings these days” – Gary Schwitzer’s Health News Review
- “a noted activist for health care transformation through participatory medicine and personal health data rights.” – Disruptive Women in Healthcare, Man of the Month
- “Testified in Washington as a champion of participatory medicine” – US News Best Hospitals issue
- “The folks in Washington have taken notice. He’s become a de facto health policy expert.” – Cheryl McEvoy, ADVANCE Perspective
- “The quintessential engaged patient” – Health Leaders magazine, 20 People Who Make Healthcare Better
- “A recognized online champion of participatory medicine” – Boston Globe
- “Face of the e-Patient movement started by the late Tom Ferguson” – Future Health 100
- “Working his ass off to get us to pay attention to the power of the internet.” – Jay Parkinson MD MPH, HelloHealth
- “A must-follow #Health20 hero on Twitter” – Brian Ahier, “govfresh” open air government blog