Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, SF) is the best female chef in the world. Last night I gladly indulged and watched The Chef's Table on Netflix. Like any great "anything" it is rarely about performing the fundamental tasks inherent in any endeavor. The chefs portrayed are multi-dimensional in pursuit of passions that bleed into their creative life. If you want to truly be immersed in a trans-media craft of story--sign up for Netflix or tune in.
Not to be a spoiler or anything but the story arc of Dominique's childhood, relationship with her family, and the culture of beautiful Brittany, France create literal and figurative poetry. The menu is poetry with the actual dishes manifestations of memory and place.
Thinking back to my first year participating in Medcomm Day I recognize a different perspective, business model, and gravitas. Every year, those of us working in medical communications provide a glimpse into our workday. Follow the hashtag #medcommsday and see what I mean.
My first year, as luck would have it, I had scheduled an 'appointment only' viewing of rare documents on the campus of Duke University. My research yielded personal letters written in the 19th century about a patient possibly afflicted with what we would now consider Alzheimer's Disease.
Part of the research for my book project examining the trajectory of Alzheimer's Disease research and the evolution of a brand.
The writing bits have evolved in parallel with my approach to a working life. I now think of communication in medicine as a prism. In the same way you wouldn't appreciate storytelling about the world at large from someone with a packed suitcase that never left the familiar--I am a dynamic writer. I encourage everyone to follow creativity from beyond narrative non-fiction, medical education, or clinical research. I am currently using art to bring audiences together in a way that improves perception and communication.
I solved the biggest problem in teaching audiences about clinical evidence and improving numeracy in medicine. We aren't likely to raise our hands in front of our peers and reveal we don't know what a hazard ratio really indicates. Or why p-values alone don't mean a thing. But we will scrunch up our faces at a piece of artwork and admit "I don't get it". The same skills that improve communication about what we see--and often more importantly what we DON'T see are transferable to the often complex graphics in clinical research papers.
We need a new and fresh approach.
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
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