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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech
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2013: March & April: Toronto, Seattle & more writing

March and April were much calmer than the previous months, and I had the opportunity to spend a nice chunk of time in Paris – something that I had been hoping for. I broke my tooth a few weeks ago and had a horrible experience at the dentist. It was a shame really because the dentist himself was actually lovely – very nice, competent and calming. He just couldn’t freeze my tooth. No matter how many times he tried it just wouldn’t work, so I couldn’t get my root canal.

Now, a part of me secretly blamed French medicine which I have found to be much weaker in strength than their North American counterparts. In fact, I maintain my stash of Nyquil, Claritin and Tylenol cold & sinus with strict vigilance. I was a little stressed because it hurt ALOT and I was nervous about speaking in front of an audience while feeling like someone was constantly punching me in the face. However, the universe has an uncanny sense of humour because the speaking engagement in Seattle was to speak for – get ready for it- the annual American Dental Education Association. That’s right. 

Seattle – The ADEA Annual Meeting

I found myself in Seattle, talking to the organizing committee of the ADEA, and wouldn’t you know it, I met Dr. Gerald Glickman, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Endodontics and Director of Graduate Endodontics at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. Within about five minutes of speaking to me he told me he would sort it out. As I was about to get on stage, I get handed a note that an appointment had been made for me by one of the top Endodentists in the state.

I was there talking about the impact that technology is having on patients and the healthcare experience in general. I covered topics like the empowered digital patient, Over Googling Syndrome (I have this. It’s when you think there is something wrong with you and your online searches only serve to convince you that you have a rare an incurable disease), and the new role for doctors in this new ecosystem. I really love talking about healthcare because its implications are so universal – we are all patients and so we can all relate to the challenges and opportunities that exist within this new digital context.

Anyway, I did my presentation- thank you extra strength tylenol- and immediately hopped in a cab. Unfortunately, the new Endodentist also couldn’t freeze my tooth. I won’t horrify you with the different ways he tried, but let’s just say by the end of it, I was ready to just take out the damn thing myself. Luckily, there was a dental surgeon downstairs who heard about the tooth that wouldn’t freeze and he happened to have some availability and so I booked an appointment with him right away. The following morning, I went back and had emergency dental surgery, he put me completely under and removed the evil offender, banishing it forever more from my mouth.

I spent the afternoon dialling different members of my family while being incredibly loopy while coming down from the general anesthetic. Then, pain-free, I hopped on a plane and headed to Toronto for the weekend.

 

Toronto – Writing Sessions

I spent the rest of the weekend continuing to work on The Decoded Company, and had the opportunity to hang out with my family and friends. It still amazes me how I can pop over for a weekend and then head home. Every time I fly, I’m reminded of the Louis CK bit about the amazing miracle of flight. It makes me laugh every time because it’s so true and helps me to keep perspective when the on-flight entertainment system isn’t working.

 

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