I’ve been given a lot to think about. With ACNEM Science of Nutrition Conference and then MINDD both this last week, I’ve heard a lot. Not all of it good, useful or accurate of course. ‘Beware the Spin!’ I would say to anyone wondering how to sift through the potentially overwhelming volume of info being directed our way. What do I mean?…well while I might be regarded by many as an extrovert and I certainly can talk people into a coma when I get excited, I am always wary of presenters who primarily seem to use the platform to demonstrate their own superior knowledge, or just their own superiority full stop! I feel a very strong responsibility as an educator – to meet people where they are starting from (as much as you can in a room of 200 individuals!), start at the beginning but end up at a clear destination (not in the wilderness!!) e.g. a few tips, some new practice skills that everyone can use tomorrow – making sure you help everyone connect up as many dots along the way as possible. I think being an educator is really a privilege and if we fail to do these things we fail all those who came to learn.
What I look for and resonate with in presenters is a) a good mix of work experience (being a clinician is not always imperative but having contact with the real world outside your lab or your invisible podcast audience is essential), b) authenticity (I always say, ‘if you feel like you’re being sold to, you probably are!’) and c) lack of bias – we need to see more sharing of conflict of interests please!
For these reasons, several presenters I was lucky enough to see really stood out and I can highly recommend you keep your eye out for these guys – some new to me, some very well known including Associate Professor Ross Grant, Prof. Michael Berk (both are wonderful researchers & clinicians specialising in mental health & nutrition interventions), Dr. Dave Jenkins (who talked on the Bredesden protocol for dementia patients that appears to be able to reverse dementia (!!) well worth the look), Prof. Michael Fenech (a genetics genius who is increasingly naturopathic in his approach, dare I say it!), Christabelle Yeoh (for the top end big picture marriage between science, energy & health) and among the naturopathic stars was Tabitha McIntosh (environmental toxins and how to reduce your exposure One Bite at a Time), who delivered a non-alarmist but pressing discourse at MINDD on our & our patients’ enormous environmental load. A great reminder for the need for ongoing awareness and more informed decision making.
One of the most striking shared messages iterated by all of the best presenters, whether they were a professor of genetics, a psychiatrist, a naturopath or doctor or a researcher, was that attending to the core tenets of health (and the principles of naturopathic medicine): adequate sleep, quality water and food, regular exercise, exposure to healthy light/dark cycles etc. is the best place to start in every patient and makes the greatest contribution to improved wellbeing. Seriously..this one thing they all agreed on was the loudest message overall.
So remember we are in the perfect position to improve people’s health and sometimes, rather than needing to be an expert ourselves in genetics and psychiatry and immunology and and and…we should be encouraged just to KISS* as often as possible ;
*KISS = keep it simple stupid
The Update in Under 30 audios which are recorded each month are now available via a 12 month subscription. These Mp3 soundbytes are less than 30 minutes & recorded by Rachel on juicy clinically relevant topics. At under $14 per month, they’re a great way to stay up to date & earn CPE points on some of the most essential issues without leaving your desk!