Editor’s note: Dr. Pamela Wible, a family physician in Eugene, is one of our speakers from our inaugural event last year. Her talk has gone viral since, and her ideas have been featured in national news outlets such as Al Jazeera America, Washington Post and Huffington Post. Who would’ve thought? TEDxSalem helped one Oregonian’s idea spread to the world.
Below is her take on the nine months.
I’m not a small talk doc. My therapist calls me “the Dr. Kevorkian of medical taboos.” I’m most comfortable discussing the uncomfortable — topics that scare off most physicians. In my TED talk, I bust through 3 taboos: human sexuality, physician-patient intimacy, and doctor suicides. Is there a convenient time to talk about all this? With over 100,000 views, I think the time is now:
In many cultures, those who travel into forbidden territory are ostracized. But sometimes, the public demands—even craves the truth. There has been an overwhelming public response to my TED talk and the media is buzzing.
The Washington Post asked to publish my physician suicide blog in their newspaper and online (with TED talk embedded). When doctors commit suicide, it’s often hushed up was the third most read national news story that day. Due to high readership, they’ve asked for another article. The Huffington Post invited me to contribute Why I Kiss My Patients. The Daily Beast showcased my TED talk in The Health-Care System Is So Broken, It’s Time for Doctors to Strike. Reader’s Digest interviewed me and so has Time Magazine.
As a result of my TED talk, I’ve been featured in journals such as Medical Economics and Oregon Medical Association. After posting my article: Physician Suicide Letters which links to my TED talk, the editor at one medical site e-mailed: “We have never had comments of that magnitude and it is utterly eye-opening for me.” I am now the top trending author on KevinMD.com | Social media’s leading physician voice. My presentation is now listed as the No. 1 TED talk that medical students must watch here: Three TED Talks Med Students Should Watch.
After viewing my TED talk, the producer of America Tonight sent a crew from DC to film me for 2 days. An excellent 11-minute program on physician suicide aired on prime time national TV with portions of my TED replayed! Though not accessible online, Here’s why 9 out of 10 doctors wouldn’t recommend medicine as a profession in a much abbreviated print version of that story.
I thought my TED talk was just for Americans, until I was named New Zealand’s Compassion Hero and then featured in the UK on Meddebate. Suicidal and depressed physicians and medical students have contacted me from all over the world after viewing my TED talk. I provide assistance and lives have potentially been saved. I receive mail from patients too. They tell me I’ve helped them develop more healing relationships with their doctors.
I’m a small-town doc with big ideas. People think I have a PR team. I do not. My TED talk has spread by word of mouth and click of mouse. In less than 6 months since my talk was uploaded, it has gone global.
And this proves to me that one TED talk can change the world of medicine.