Where do I start?
I have been on Twitter for several years now. It took me awhile to discover that there were valuable dedicated groups of #patients #meded #HCP #MDs #ChronicDisease #cancer #genetics and so many more – gathering together and supporting each other.
In my early days of tweetchats I didn’t understand a lot of the hashtags, the people to follow, or the information that was out there. But I slowly began to learn that there were real support communities in #socialMedia for #patients. I was thrilled to find #doctors and other #healthCareProfessionals “sitting” via their keyboards and devices – in the same “space and time” as #patients.
Using #HashTags becomes second nature on Twitter… it’s how you find people discussions and support for the ones who want and need it. Communities like these have enriched my life, brought new friends and connections to my world and given me a whole different view of the changing world of healthcare.
I have met wonderful people like Colleen @colleen_young who moderates the weekly chat #hcsmca , Colin @Colin_Hung, Joe @JoeBababian and Bernadette @nxtstop1 of #hcldr, and @giasisson Dr. Gia Sisson of #healthxph and many others who have encouraged me to ‘keep swimming” even when the deep end of the pool seemed a bit more than I could handle.
I really began to understand the power of #Medx when my online and Real Life friend @anetto Annette McKinnon attended Medx2014 as an epatient delegate last year. She was invigorated and inspired by the experience – and I watched her meet and greet online connections and take part in discussions with them! It wasn’t just about meeting people in real space and time – but rather the gathering together of a full complement of medical and patient advocates from around the globe.
This is an important conference for patients because they are invited to talk about their experience, their struggle, their challenges and their victories. It is about being heard, about being listened to, really listened to and the platform is broadcast to the world via webinar, Youtube and through social media forums.
I applied to Medx last year and although I didn’t get selected, it was exciting to see my friend Annette attend this wonderful conference and cheer her on as she engaged with others and shared her patient story.
I think it was then, that I realized the power of this initiative – and I still wished I could have been there to feel it for myself.
So, I did apply for this 2015 Medx event and when I was accepted you could have wiped the floor with my chin! I was shocked and excited, nervous but elated.
I still have all that excitement – as the time grows closer – and the preparations become firm commitments. I am thrilled that I will have a room-mate I have interacted with on Twitter but have not yet met…and I look forward to having real conversations and learn from one of the best @JBBC , Marie Ennis O’Connor.
I am attending this conference as an epatient delegate and with my background in #caregiving and as a Personal Support worker as well as a family caregiver – I am honored to be included.
I also am an advocate for those who are non-verbal, who deal with limitations, who have special needs, or dementia. I am thrilled to be able to attend this conference and listen, learn and when possible contribute to the conversation. I also care about end of life and hospice / palliative care for those who need it. Medx appears to be the “In place” – and I am delighted to have this opportunity to participate.
Attending Medx is a huge event for me. I have learned from another online connection the amazing @ReginaHolliday -( and her work with the #WalkingGallery ) – that Medx is about the Patient – Doctor relationship. It is a promotion of the partnership that leads to better health I am so thrilled to get this opportunity to attend, to learn, to listen, and to keep sharing and lifting up the voice of the patient.
Although I have not yet met Dr. Larry Chu, who is the organizer behind the scenes, I am looking forward to the opportunity to connect and thank him for his work on behalf of patients and their families.
I hope to come away from the 2015 Medx Conference with more knowledge, understanding and insight into the relationship between patients,their circle of support and the medical teams with their skills and passion.
This is what I already feel from Medx, the passion for the sick and vulnerable, the desire to include and care for the whole patient – and I am beyond excited to be attending this year.
Patient Voice, Patient Experience, Patient as an Individual is what I am feeling from this opportunity. It is conferences like this that are changing the world…one patient at a time.