Meharry Medical College Students Bring TEDMED Live to Nashville

More than 200 pre-med, medical and dental students in Nashville – from Vanderbilt University, Meharry Medical College, Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Fisk University – came together November 1-3 to watch a live stream of the 2017 TEDMED Conference and discuss solutions to today’s most pressing issues in health care, from the opioid crisis to women’s health.

The event, called TEDMED Live, was held on Meharry’s campus and showcased the sessions featured at the TEDMED conference taking place in Palm Springs, California. The students watched the live stream of the talks and held breakout sessions afterwards to share how they can impact change here in Nashville.

Alexander Lopez, a third-year Meharry medical student and aspiring neurosurgeon, spearheaded the event along with several other Meharry students from each of the institution’s schools of study.

Lopez’s own unique background inspired him to apply to host a TEDMED Live event. He began his career in marine biology, which enabled him to participate in a groundbreaking study on how the movements of an octopus’ tentacles and tongue could influence Parkinson’s disease research.

“Although marine biology and neurology are on the opposite sides of the education spectrum, it was amazing to see how they still managed to intersect,” said Lopez. “This experience spurred me to believe that more can be achieved if tomorrow’s leaders can take an interdisciplinary approach to health care.”

A student takes in a TEDMED presentation.[/caption]Lopez used his vision to craft a pitch to organizers of TEDMED, who invited teaching hospitals, medical and nursing schools, schools of public health, academic institutions and government agencies to apply for the opportunity to watch the on-stage presentations live or on-demand. His pitch was accepted, granting students at Meharry and others across the city this special opportunity.

“All of us here seek the betterment of the human condition through the healing arts – physically, emotionally and even spiritually,” President James E.K. Hildreth, M.D., Ph.D., told event attendees. “In order to do so, we must be continual learners, and in our world today, the volume of things to learn can be overwhelming. Now more than ever, we need to collaborate with one another other to advance health care delivery and research. Take in what you can tonight to serve better tomorrow.”

The students found the TEDMED topics to be thought-provoking and inspiring, generating productive conversations, discussions and ideas as they forge ahead in their studies to shape the future of medicine.

Lopez welcomes TEDMED audience

Meharry student Alexander Lopez welcomes the audience to TEDMED.

Student at breakout session

A student at a breakout session tries Microsoft HoloLens.

Student watching TEDMED

A student takes in a TEDMED presentation.