Dr. Larry Chu and the Stanford Medicine X crew just dropped a major bomb on the already still-hyped up ePatient community. Applications for the 2015 ePatient Scholar program opened yesterday night.
I am nowhere near completing the process of recapping the 2014 event, nowhere near recovering from the jet-lag, euphoria, and ideas for action whirring in my brain, but I wanted to pause for a minute and let you all know about MedX 2015.
For everyone who only heard of MedX this year because it blew up your Twitter feed (#MedX); for everyone who wanted to apply last year, but had life get in the way; for everyone that was afraid they were not good enough…
I’ve applied each year since and been accepted for the 2012 and 2014 programs. So I know a bit about the process, a bit about the joy of seeing that acceptance email, and a bit about the disappointment of rejection. I don’t know about every individual who applied each year, or what about 2014 “won” me the spot that I missed in 2013. I do know that it has got to be incredibly hard to read dozens of very personal stories and in some way choose 35 of those. I don’t envy the selection committee. I actually don’t envy the people who got selected when I didn’t. I was personally very sad to miss MedX last year, but happy to see new ePatients emerge, and grateful to be able to watch and tweet in real time.
If you are a patient reading this, I think you should apply. Here are some tips to help you.
Step one, read through the application instructions and the questions as soon as possible. Some questions will might be very easy for you to answer. Some might be emotionally difficult. (The question asking how you’ve inspired someone is what gets me.) Type your answers in Word first; save often. The MedX website doesn’t have the feature to save your text while you work. Everyone does this differently, but I like to start answering the questions and then take a break for a while before coming back to finish it up and do some editing. Ideally I take a few weeks, but most of my writing process occurs in my brain. Your writing process may vary. It might be hard to fit this application into your already busy life. You have plenty of time. Apply anyway. Save your text file of answers somewhere. It may come in handy again.
Some of the questions might make you doubt that you belong at MedX. Do your best. None of us really believed we deserved to be there. I still don’t, but I’m going to beg to go back anyway. Apply anyway.
The most important tip I want you to know about MedX 2015? If you think you don’t belong at Medicine X because you haven’t seen a similar diagnosis or patient story represented, that is all the more reason for you to apply. Each year Medicine X gets better, which is sort of astonishing. The organizers work very hard to be more inclusive. This year they allowed Erin Gilmer to submit her recorded story when unexpected surgery made it impossible for her to travel to California to present in person. This year, they allowed me to include a patient panelist via Skype. Tell MedX your story and give them a chance to include you too.
You should apply to Medicine X 2015. But don’t take my word for it:
- Thank You for Registering for Medicine X (Chris always has good things to say about applying for MedX)
- Stories that Deserve to Be Heard (Chris again)
- On Being Worthy (Chris again)
- #MedX Global Access Program; Ignite Talk. (Kim explains her initial doubt and confusion over being asked to apply)