Power of words — 9 hospital leaders take the TED Talks' stage

Megan Wood -

These hospital CEOs, executives and physician leaders dug deep, sharing their insight on how to solve major healthcare industry challenges during various TED Talks throughout the years.

1. "What Healthcare will look like in 2020" — Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA (president and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health in Philadelphia): In 2014, Dr. Klasko presented at a local TEDx event, divulging his own experiences and insights on healthcare reform. 

2. "How do we heal medicine?" — Atul Gawande, MD (surgeon, Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital): In 2012, Dr. Gawande spoke on the broken medical system, and how physicians are too focused on extraordinary treatments and losing sight of treating patients. During his Ted Talk, Dr. Gawande suggested key ways to bring the basics back into medicine. 

3. "What is Global Health?" — Macharia Waruingi, MD, DHA (CEO, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa): Dr. Waruingi delivered a TEDx Talk on global health in 2016. He spoke about his organization, UBRICA, illustrating sustainable one health communities and how they can achieve global health. 

4. "Hearts for my Father's Land" — Vincent Ohaju, MD (trauma medical director, Bryan, Texas-based CHI St. Joseph Health Care System): During a TEDx Talk in 2016, Dr. Ohaju touched on how his childhood in Nigeria led him on a path to becoming a physician. His presentation highlighted how he is giving back by helping develop a modern healthcare system in Nigeria. 

5. "Exposing the hubris in knowing" — Betsy Nabel, MD (president, Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital): At TEDMED 2015, Dr. Nabel highlighted how acknowledging our ignorance is a strong asset. 

6. "Rediscovering healthcare's original goal: Reducing suffering" — Thomas Lee, MD (chief medical officer, Press Ganey; previous network president, Boston-based Partners Healthcare System): During TEDMED 2015, Dr. Lee emphasized empathy as a crucial part of business. During his presentation, he encouraged the industry to regain its focus on reducing patient suffering as the optimal outcome. 

7. "One Patient at a Time" — David Feinberg, MD (CEO, Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System): When he served as CEO of UCLA Hospital Systems back in 2011, Dr. Feinberg delivered a TEDx Talk, emphasizing the patient experience. Dr. Fienberg said placing focus on the patient creates a strong opportunity to enhance the quality of healthcare. 

8. "A Doctor's Touch" — Abraham Verghese, MD (Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor, Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine): During TEDGlobal 2011, Dr. Verghese spoke to the importance of the human touch and the one-on-one physical exam. The modern healthcare environment has claimed patients as data points, and Dr. Verghese called for a return to a humanized medicine. 

9. "Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that?" — Brian Goldman, MD (emergency physician, Toronto, Canada-based Mount Sinai Hospital): During TEDxToronto 2010, Dr. Goldman presented on the healthcare industry's culture of denial and shame, which keeps physicians quite about their mistakes. Intertwined in his own experiences, Dr. Goldman encouraged physicians to openly discuss their mistakes in order to improve the field. 

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