Speech at the medical college

Jessica, Namine, and I were asked back to the Medical College of Wisconsin to give our talk on accessibility. ♿

For the past three years, we have been asked to come speak to a class at the medical college. Like last year, there was a mix of medical and pharmaceutical students attending.

Our talk originated with being given at Marquette to a class of bio-mechanical engineering students. Since then, we’ve given a variation on the same speech — with relevant information added each year — at the Medical College of Wisconsin. It’s connected (literally) to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where Namine has been seen all her life.

The students attending our speech are going to school to become medical professionals. (Obviously.) What isn’t obvious, and we have the experience to prove it, is that medical professionals can lose sight of the fact that their patients are people too. They can become jaded. They can forget that their patients have lives outside of the hospital. Our hope is that we can provide a means of keeping that individuality in mind.

We must be doing something right, because we keep getting asked back. Aside from the class asking questions after our speech — and no question has ever been off-limits — we were approached by a few individuals afterward, as well.

When Namine was a baby, little was known about her conditions. There were no support groups and no community to speak of. We had to figure things out by ourselves, with family as our only support system (I still dislike the impersonality of that word).

That’s why we speak at MCW — and that’s why we have this blog. There are other families with special needs. If our knowledge and experience can help them, then all the better.