Here’s the latest in a series of interviews with outstanding speakers we’ve lined up for the Society for Participatory Medicine’s second annual conference on Oct. 17 in Boston. Register here. And see this blog’s #SPM2018 series for more about, or by, the speakers and activities.

Attending a participatory medicine event means that you yourself participate. At the upcoming SPM conference, attendees will begin the process of creating a manifesto.

Justin Kunkel, vice president and chief design officer of the healthcare innovation consultancy Benjamin & Bond, will facilitate the afternoon session “Participatory Medicine Manifesto,” to begin the process of putting a definitive stake in the ground about what participatory medicine is and should be.

Kunkel, who spent a decade using design methods to solve problems in government, education, startup technology and many other industries before focusing solely on healthcare, said in an email interview that the goal of the session “is to capture the passion and experiences of attendees to help shape that manifesto.” The session will require us to (figuratively!) walk in each other’s shoes and consider all the stakeholders in the healthcare system, not just the role each of us experiences daily.

“To me,” Kunkel continued, “participatory medicine is about recognizing the humanity of everyone involved in healthcare. As providers, that means listening to patients and respecting their agency [“the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices” – WIkipedia]. As patients, that means understanding that healthcare is a massive and complicated system and that they may have to invest time and energy in making it work for them. And,” he added, “that the people who provide their care are people, too, and that by having human conversations, we can fix micro problems and macro ones.”

As a facilitator and as an attendee of the SPM conference, Kunkel is eager to be in a room full of like-minded people. “I love taking about healthcare when it’s with other people who feel like we should expect more of it,” he said, “and want it to be better than it is. It takes a profound lack of imagination to think this is the best we can do, and I’m looking forward to hearing from other people working to change and improve the system.”


Join Us for #SPM2018 in Boston October 17

Learn more about SPM’s second annual conference on Oct. 17 in Boston or register here today ($100 for members/$150 for non-members). In our early years it’s priced as a great bargain for a full day. And see this blog’s #SPM2018 series for more about, or by, the speakers and activities.

 

 

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