This last few days at the Stanford Medicine X Ed conference (and following along with the Medicine X conference), I found myself in an weird position of hybrid identity. My experience with medical education is with the work I’ve done with the Department of Family Medicine and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Through that work I’ve become a little bit familiar with Canadian Medical education. Although I’m not an MD, I understand some of the lingo. I understand a bit about how medical education works, and how residency education in family medicine works. I’m far from an expert, but I’m familiar.
But as an engaged patient, my experience is all America. Sure, I’ve been a patient in Canada, but as Carolyn aptly puts it, my acute care episodes within the Canadian healthcare system don’t qualify me as a patient (or at least not as an ePatient). I do not have an ePatient view into the Canadian medical system. I do, however, have an ePatient view into the American (and more specifically the California) healthcare system. I have experience dealing with two different healthcare organizations. I have experience with the American system of choosing your healthcare team (this was really difficult for me to grasp at first). I no longer think twice about booking appointments for second opinions (which may be one thing that contributes to the high cost of healthcare in the US). From an ePatient perspective, my expertise is solidly planted within the US heath care system.
The Medicine X Ed conference also made me realize that I really need to get some new business cards. Part of what has been holding me back is what to put on them. What do I call myself? How do I say who I am on a single card? How do I brand myself?
When I met the super cool folks at Fusion Tech, I was a little embarrassed that the only business cards I had were ones that said I was a student at uOttawa or the ones from our Going East bike trip. I didn’t have anything that said I’m a blogger, write, associate lecturer (that a fancy academic title that says I work as a contingent part time instructor at a university) … or any of the variety of other titles I’ve given myself over the last 20 years.
I have a couple more conferences coming up in the next couple of weeks (Health 2.0 and dLRN). I’m going to need to figure out those new business cards pretty quickly – otherwise, I’ll be in the same awkward position of handing out old cards that don’t really speak to who I am today.