Human-less Doctors

I posed this question to the people following the latest Design for Health class I attended at Stanford.

For me, my diagnosis is already set in stone. I have type 1 diabetes. But for other situations, for other people, would you be comfortable receiving an accurate diagnosis without having to actually see a person?

Sure, Dr. Google is a term we throw around, somewhat in jest, but what if Dr. Google became a reality? What if you didn’t have to speak to a person, sit in a waiting room, fight traffic to make your appointment on time?

What do you think about that?

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You’re Doing It Wrong

This is a post that discusses an egregious error of a seemly random pitch I received in my inbox. This one strikes close to home as planning for this year’s Medicine X is underway (I’m on the Advisory Board, remember?).

This April, the Cambridge Healthtech Institute and Bio-IT World will put on the second
annual Medical Informatics World Conference. They have an entire track devoted to “Coordinated Patient Care, Engagement, and Empowerment”.

This track will focus on “connected health, remote monitoring, personalized medicine and analytics to improve outcomes”.

Over the two days of the conference, there will be presenters and panels featuring some impressive job titles and backgrounds.

But none of the scheduled speakers are patients. None of the panelists are patients. As far as I can see, this two-day conference featuring a track dedicated to patients will not feature one patient perspective.

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You Should Listen To Susannah Fox Speak

This is last week’s Engage and Empower Me class, part of Stanford’s MedX Live. Susannah Fox is good people. When she speaks, you should listen.

Her notes can be found on her on blog – – if you’re curious.

It’s also worth noting that Susannah was on an episode of my podcast two years ago.

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Stories That Deserve to Be Heard

I’m finishing up my review of the applications submitted for ePatient Scholarships to this year’s Stanford Medicine X conference. There were over 100 applications submitted this year, but only 35 scholarships will be given out.

For the people that applied, but do not receive a scholarship, please do not take this as the end of your journey. We all have stories that deserve to be heard. Maybe Medicine X 2014 will not be the your moment, but that doesn’t mean your moment will not come. There are so many platforms and ways to share stories; Medicine X is just one of them.

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Department of Motor Vehicles

Yesterday I took a number of steps to complete my move to California including (somehow) passing a driver’s license test, getting a smog test for my car, getting a new registration and license plates for my car, and registering to vote in California.

For as much flack as the DMV can get, the process was rather efficient considering all that could have gone wrong. Sure, it helped that I made an appointment, thus moving up in the priority queue, but the fact remains that everything but the smog test took place in one building. And even then, once completed, the DMV is automatically notified of a passing grade for my car once the smog test is complete.

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About Medicine X – The Collaboration

This collaboration post with Sara was initially scheduled to be posted on another diabetes website, but unfortunately plans changed. Rather than have that time and effort spent be for nothing, we decided to post it our own sites. As always, thanks for reading!


We were lucky to be among the ePatients awarded scholarships to attend Medicine X at Stanford, and while our expectations varied going into the conference based on whether we’d been there before, we can safely say that the 72-hour sprint in Palo Alto will be on our minds for quite some time.

Bottom line: Medicine X is a conference unlike any other conference we have attended. In attending, we both came away with a new sense of purpose and a greater understanding that patient advocacy stretches far beyond diabetes, or cancer, or chronic pain: as patient advocates, we’re truly in this together.

We so excited

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(Just Talking) About Medicine X

Recapping our time at Stanford for Medicine X, I’m joined by fellow diabetes advocate Sara Nicastro. We discuss Sara’s expectations going into the conference and how they compare to my own, having participated last year. Sara lists her some of her top panels and speakers from the weekend. I share the many contributing factors to my high stress level prior to moderating my panel. And we break down some of the controversial statements made by Sonny Vu and explain why a conference like Medicine X is the perfect place to have an open dialog about those types of topics. Oh, and we talk about cats. Enjoy.

For more information about Medicine X, go to

You can follow Sara on Twitter at @saraknic and read her Medicine X write ups at

And if that wasn’t enough, I’m writing about Medicine X on my blog at

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