TED Talks: Eric Dishman – Health care should be a team sport

In the TED Talk video below, Eric Dishman shares his experiences as a patient with chronic kidney disease.  Eric saw the unfortunate side of medicine with multiple conflicting diagnoses, prescription problems, and lack of concern.  But he has also found groups who are treating patients in a humane, coordinated effort.

Eric showcases how current technologies empower patients to take an active role in their own health and keep them out of hospitals and clinics.  He demonstrates the use of an ultrasound probe connected to his smartphone, including a live video discussion with a doctor.  This doctor is part of a healthcare team who work in concert to deliver the best care.  I’ve read that the Mayo Clinic works with a similar model to treat patients expediently with less miscommunication.

This video would be ideal for undergraduate pre-med students or even medical students.  Possible conversations/debates could be:

  • What should be the goal of medicine?  Maximum longevity or maximum quality of life?  What does care look like in those two scenarios?
  • What is the future of medicine?  How do we cut down on costs and improve care?
  • How does whole genome sequencing fit into this model of health care?  What benefits can it bring?  What potential pitfalls do you foresee?
  • What is patient advocacy?  Why is it important?  Who will be your patient advocate?  What happens to patients who don’t know enough about biology/medicine/health care?  How easy is it to fall through the cracks of the current system?
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