It’s been quite a ride for Dr. Pamela Wible since she last took our stage.
It was two years ago that Wible stood before a TEDx Salem crowd as founder of the Ideal Medical Care movement to talk about the importance of changing the impersonal, assembly-line mentality that infects the American medical care industry, for the health not just of patients but of doctors themselves.
It’s a quest that for her began over 10 years ago, in town hall meetings where she would stand up and, as she puts it, bare her soul to the very people who once stood naked before her, seeking her patients’ advice in how to develop a more intimate, more compassionate medical care experience.
Her talk was one of the most well received TEDx Salem talks ever, generating well over 200,000 views since being posted on YouTube. Since then, Wible has gone on to spread her message in interviews on CBS, ABC, CNN, NPR and elsewhere. Earlier this year, she was awarded the 2015 Women Leaders in Medicine Award by the American Medical Student Association. This November, she will speak at TEDMED in Palm Springs, California.
According to Wible, all the success is a sign that her message is resonating.
“It’s time to talk,” she said, “about the taboo topics that are holding us back as a culture.”
Since her talk, more people are having “black and white discussions,” she said. Patients are frustrated with their hospital and clinic experiences, and are also beginning to recognize how equally frustrated doctors are, she said. And doctors are starting to see the toll that the profession’s traditional rigors are taking on their own emotional and physical well being.
Over 1 million people lose their doctor to suicide, a statistic Wible often cites in her talks. Since speaking at TEDx Salem, doctors are becoming more receptive of her message, she said, and more willing to speak up about the pain they endure, a pain that has often been institutionalized from medical school onward.
“It’s inspiring med students to stand up and refuse to be victimized,” she said.
“People are willing to say it out loud,” she said, “the time has come for the truth.”
Wible credits TEDx Salem with helping to “break through the media glass ceiling,” as she calls it, amplifying the thoughts of a female family doctor from Eugene, in a media landscape so often focused on male specialists working on the East Coast. Her TEDx Salem talk and accompanying op-ed was also published in the Washington Post last summer.
“It brings people to me,” she said, “in wanting to know more.”
And as she prepares for her TEDMED talk, Wible recalls her TEDx Salem experience fondly.
“I was on such an emotional high, I wasn’t necessarily taking it all in,” she said. “I was so proud to be a part of it.”
It really shows you the “power of one new idea,” she said.
– To get your tickets for TEDx Salem 2015, click here.