What a wild week. I am so thankful to have been a part of this group of healthcare professionals and advocates. This conference has been a truly eye-opening experience. Having just finished my second year of medical school, I have not had as much clinical experience as many of my fellow attendees, and as a result, I believe I am still rather naive to the issues that exist in our healthcare system. I, much like our patients, would walk into a hospital and expect things to run smoothly; obviously, those with more experience must have perfected their craft… right? Hearing a general statement such as, ‘the system is broken’ only gives so much information. However, the stories from staff and my fellow attendees pulled back the curtain on the realities of medicine I will soon encounter.
My goal when entering this conference was to be a sponge; I wanted to come in with an open mind, to listen, and to absorb all I could from the staff and fellow participants. As I continue to unpack what I learned over this week, I have started asking questions of my school – what about medical error is taught in our curriculum? How can students get involved? Do people know about Care for the Caregiver? I have been moved by the stories I’ve heard this week, and I hope to use this as fuel to move forward as an advocate within my medical school class and beyond.