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Reflecting on the Great Challenges at TEDMED

Oct 6, 2014, 11:19 AM, Posted by Paul Tarini

TEDMED 2014 photo w/Ramanan Laxminarayan Photo courtesy of TEDMED

Here at RWJF, we are working to build a Culture of Health for all. This is an audacious goal, and one that we clearly cannot accomplish alone. We need to collaborate with thinkers and tinkerers and doers from all sectors–which is why we sponsored TEDMED’s exploration of the Great Challenges of Health and Medicine at its 2014 events.

Specifically, RWJF representatives helped facilitate conversations around six Great Challenges: childhood obesity, engaging patients, medical innovation, health care costs, the impact that poverty has on health, and prevention. We spoke with hundreds of people in person and online (Get a glimpse of the conversation here).

We asked three TEDMED speakers from RWJF's network to reflect on their experience at TEDMED and share some of the stimulating ideas they heard. We hope you'll add your ideas in the comments. 

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A Culture of Empowerment, a Culture of Health

Jul 22, 2013, 4:15 PM, Posted by Andrea Ducas

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The thin, paper-like hospital gown. Open. Exposing. Awkward. The perfect symbol for what health care in America represents for most of us.

As a bit of context, last week I spent three days with a group of amazing women from across the health care industry at an RWJF-sponsored forum hosted by the Association of American Medical Colleges. At that meeting, a key part of the discussion centered on where the opportunity for meaningful, collective, action might lie to catalyze dramatic system transformation. More than once, the hospital gown metaphor came up.

To me, though, this symbol represents much more than a call for system transformation—I see it as a battle cry for empowerment.

Let me explain.

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My Doctor Used the "F" Word

Jun 26, 2013, 12:38 PM, Posted by Najaf Ahmad

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He made a remark that I found deeply cutting and hard to digest (no pun intended). “You’re overweight. You need to do something about it”. OK, he didn’t use the word “overweight.” He actually used the “F” word. Fat.

I was taken aback. I was upset and hurt. I really didn’t believe him. Sure, I’d gained some weight, but not that much. I certainly wasn’t gorging on cronuts, sconuts and cookie dough batter. (Although I guess I had rekindled my affair with Ben and Jerry.)

Besides, was a doctor really supposed to be saying this to me? “No!” my friends reassured me. “You’re not fat. Besides, you just had a baby! Dump your doctor and find a new one!”

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