7 TEDMED Talks for Nurse Practitioners

I’m back on the TED talks kick. Yes, the past few mornings on my exercise bike have been spent madly peddling away, sweat dripping down my face, while listening to inspirational speakers from around the globe. From solving our primary care woes, to talking burn-out among healthcare providers, there are some smart people out there with thought-provoking ideas that are helping to change the way we approach and practice medicine. Here are some of my favorite TEDMED talks.


1. Are zombie doctors taking over America?

You favorite joke-cracking, rap-writing MD is back! Dr. Zubin Damania aka ZDogg MD, talks primary care woes in this hilarious presentation. Many of us as healthcare providers are disillusioned with our careers. We came into the medical field to help others only to find the system dehumanizes doctors and patients alike. Fortunately, ZDogg has answers.

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2. Is the “disease model sick”- or just exhausted?

Are you sick of the overdiagnosis phenomenon? These days it seems we are assigning an ICD-9 code to everything. Ivan Oransky, Executive Editor of Reuters Health, says labeling too many patients with subclinical illnesses can have fatal results.


3. Hope or denial in the face of death

Do you ever label your critically ill patients as “in denial”? Amanda Bennett, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of “The Cost of Hope”, spent seven years by her husband’s side as he fought cancer. Both incredibly smart individuals, she recalls how, as a couple, they chose do do everything possible to save him from his devastating disease. But, rather than denial, she says their attempts represented hope.


4. Can you still swim with sharks at 61?

Remember when endurance swimmer Diana Nyad set out to swim from Florida to Cuba? Although the trip ended as an athletic defeat, she found personal victory. No, this isn’t a strictly medical talk, but Diana’s story is inspiring.


5. What happens when patients become leaders on the health team?

Sometimes, patients might be “non-compliant” for reasons you don’t expect. When Dr. America Bracho noticed the traditional medical model was failing her patients, she decided to do something about it. Through founding Latino Health Access, Dr. Bracho has made patients themselves leaders empowering them to incite change in their communities.


6. What happens when one person’s disease becomes everybody’s business?

When Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross, was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer she decided to go public with her health struggles. While airing her cancer diagnosis in the open went against her nature, she discovered that going public with her struggles gave her the strength to heal.


7. Got a good beat?

New technology in medicine is a theme these days. Check out Nate Ball, beatboxer and engineer, as he tests the capabilities of his percussional prowess under fMRI imaging to show what musical improv does to the brain.

What are your favorite TEDMED talks?


You Might Also Like: 7 Medical TV Shows We Wish Still Aired

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