“Listen to your patient; he is telling you the diagnosis,” Dr. William Osler is quoted to have said around the turn of the 20th century.

Dr. Osler had been a strong advocate for the physician-patient conversation to inform the doctor’s diagnostic acumen and improve patient outcomes.

This year is the centennial of Dr. Osler’s passing, so it’s especially timely that I introduce this post with his legendary assertion in the context of kicking off the 2019 Medecision Liberation conference.

This meeting convenes the company’s clients, partners, and staff to share best practices, spark insights and learnings, and enable networking between people attending the meeting. There’s a lot of artfulness baked into the agenda and flow of this event, I learned last year when I attended my first Liberation (2018). I was engaged for that meeting to do my brand of “trend-weaving” throughout the conference, as well as be a featured speaker on the theme of consumerism in health care.

This year I’ll do the same, among a wonderful team of speakers all touching on aspects of the theme of humanizing health care walking Dr. Osler’s talk. They include:

  • Dr. Eric Topol, Founder & Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute
  • Dr. Andrew Chacko, Founder of ChackoMD
  • Nick Adkins, Co-Founder of the #PinkSocks Life Movement
  • Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, Founder of Endwell
  • Gary Mendell, Founder and CEO of Shatterproof
  • Dr. Joseph Gonnella, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Terri Kline, President and CEO (retired), Health Alliance Plan
  • Cydney Roach EVP and and Lynn Hanessian Chief Strategist, both of Edelman,
  • And winding up the meeting, Julie Murchinson, CEO, Health Evolution.

My own talk will address my new friend “TiSH,” an acronym that stands for “Trust, Stress and Health Literacy.” I’ll discuss these three elements as part of a toxic cocktail that prevents people from achieving optimal health. TiSH not only erodes an individual’s health status, but prevents the health system from reaching that elusive Holy Grail, the Quadruple Aim.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  “Liberation” in health care has many meanings. The word can connote freedom for clinicians to practice to the top of their license, and in a practice environment where technology is invisible and empowers diagnosis and patient relationships. Liberation can mean patients accessing services where and when needed, without friction of bias, inequities, healthcare deserts and shortages, or payment barriers. Another liberation riff is freeing data to be liquid and move freely (and securely) through the health/care ecosystem, as in Todd Park’s energetic mantra, “Data Liberación!” 

Stay tuned for the many flavors of “liberation” by following the hashtag #MedLiberate this week, 22nd through 24th October, as we explore Dr. Topol’s lens on how AI can humanize health care, Dr. Chacko’s learnings on the power of human-centered design in health, Gary Mendell’s work on de-stigmatizing mental health, Dr. Ungerleider’s understanding of engaging with grace at the end-of life, Nick Adkins’ empathic embrace of the power of connection, and other humanistic health insights which follow in Dr. Osler’s learned footsteps.

Do read more about Dr. Osler’s pioneering approach to patient-centered medicine through the eyes of Dr. Paul Rothman, CEO and Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, which Dr. Osler founded.