Contributing and Collaborating at the WMU Medical Humanities Conference

The people who I met, the conversations that we had, the ideas and passions that were exchanged and explored. These are the aspects that I enjoyed most at the Third Annual WMU Medical Humanities Conference, the things that I was most looking forward to and that I hope to experience at more conferences in the future.

I have to say, I think that this was one of my best presentations about my research. I’ve realized that I perform best as a speaker when I speak freely. The presentations that preceded mine throughout the day were inspiring. I felt my passion for my research empower me, and I was able to overcome anxiety with enthusiasm about my findings. The response to my presentation was overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging; some scholars were eager to share my project with students, others inviting me to stay in touch and explore their graduate programs. As the only student presenting, it was truly an honor to participate and I was fortunate to have such a great, interactive audience. 

The entire conference was an adventure. From the woman who sat next to me on the shuttle bus to the Founding Dean of Western Michigan University’s Medical School, I had the opportunity to meet a variety of people. People had travelled from across the nation and as far as England to present and participate in this conference, to share the projects they were passionate about and to learn about the passions of others. With this interdisciplinary field, there was an interesting assortment of people: humanities and social science scholars, clinicians, educators, and many overlaps amongst these. Each presentation offered new insight about different facets of Medical Humanities, and the discussions that unravelled afterwards were equally engaging and thought-provoking. Being physically in the presence of Medical Humanities people  helped me to better understand this field, and I’ll be incorporating some of my new thoughts from the conference in blog posts to come.

Here’s my WMU Medical Humanities Presentation: I wrote out notes in preparation, but they were by no means memorized. For those who would like to share my research with other students, I am honored. I really appreciate the support and enthusiasm!

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Filed under Chronicling Childhood Cancer: Illuminating the Illness Experience through Narrative, Miscellaneous Musings, Narrative Medicine Research

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