Yesterday I spoke with a group of 20 medical students at an evening dinner session. My presentation "An Intimate Look at Alzheimer's" took 30 minutes and was followed by the award-winning documentary "Alzheimer's: A Love Story."
The students' comments were thoughtful, insightful, and caring, I felt good about sharing Gregory and my story with the hopes that having a personal view of the disease would help them in the future when dealing with similar issues in their practice.
One of the students sent this e-mail after the presentation:
Hello Mr. Horvich,
This is Pari, from the Geriatrics Interest Group - Emily and I just wanted to let you know how very much we appreciate your taking the time to come to Pritzker this evening. It was a privilege to get a glimpse of your and Mr. Maire's journey with Alzheimer's, and the mix of serious and humorous elements in the talk struck just the right note. I know that several of us - myself included - were moved to tears at different points, and we are so grateful for your generosity in sharing this intensely personal story with us. Presentations like yours will help us to become more sensitive, compassionate physicians; this reminder of the importance of personal stories and remaining attuned to patients' humanity was a uniquely fitting way to close our first year of medical school. Again, thank you, and best wishes for a restful summer--
Emily and Pari