Leana Wen

Physician, Author & Advocate for Patient Empowerment

Dr. Leana Wen is a Harvard-educated emergency physician, Rhodes Scholar, TED speaker, and author of the best-selling book, When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests (St. Martin’s Press, January 2013; paperback June 2014).

When Dr. Wen was a medical student, her mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. As she helped her mother navigate the medical system, she saw how disconnected doctors and patients had become and how disempowering our health system could be. Noting how physicians are steered onto predefined, "cookbook" pathways away from the patient's experience, Wen decided to devote her career to transforming the healthcare system by advocating for the individualized care patients deserve. She wrote a book and has given TED talks on patient advocacy and healthcare reform.

Dr. Wen received her medical training from Washington University and Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. A Rhodes Scholar, she also studied health policy and economics at the University of Oxford. She has served as a consultant with the World Health Organization and the Brookings Institution; an advisor to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Lown Institute; and as national president of the American Medical Student Association. In 2007, she was selected by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to represent physicians-in-training on the Council on Graduate Medical Education, an advisory commission to Congress.

Today, she is a practicing attending physician and Director of Patient-Centered Care in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University. A professor of emergency medicine and health policy, she co-leads a new national collaboration on health policy and social mission, and serves as founding director of Who’s My Doctor, a campaign calling for radical transparency in medicine.

Wen has been published in numerous scientific publications including The Lancet, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and British Medical Journal. She writes regular columns for National Public Radio, Huffington Post, Women’s Health Magazine, and Psychology Today. Along with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, she reported from East Africa and wrote for The New York Times.

Dr. Leana Wen has been featured in Time, Newsweek, ABC News, NPR, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the award-winning HBO documentary Reporter. A professional speaker for ten years, she has given three popular TED talks, and lectures around the U.S. and internationally on patient-centered care and healthcare reform.

To book Leana Wen call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.

See Below for Full Bio

  • Speaking Topics:

    Cancer, Health & Wellness, Healthcare, Inspiration, Youth

  • Travels From:

    District of Columbia

  • Price:

    $7,500 - $10,000

    Notes on Fees

  • Videos
  • Full Bio
  • Speech Topics
  • Books
  • Testimonials
  • News

Liberty, democracy, equity, and justice in healthcare: Leana Wen at TEDxUniversityofNevada

Medical Keynote Speaker: Leana S. Wen, M.D., M.Sc. (2013)

Dr. Leana Wen is a Harvard-educated emergency physician, Rhodes Scholar, TED speaker, and author of the best-selling book, When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests (St. Martin’s Press, January 2013; paperback June 2014).

When Dr. Wen was a medical student, her mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. As she helped her mother navigate the medical system, she saw how disconnected doctors and patients had become and how disempowering our health system could be. Noting how physicians are steered onto predefined, "cookbook" pathways away from the patient's experience, Wen decided to devote her career to transforming the healthcare system by advocating for the individualized care patients deserve. She wrote a book and has given TED talks on patient advocacy and healthcare reform.

Dr. Wen received her medical training from Washington University and Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. A Rhodes Scholar, she also studied health policy and economics at the University of Oxford. She has served as a consultant with the World Health Organization and the Brookings Institution; an advisor to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Lown Institute; and as national president of the American Medical Student Association. In 2007, she was selected by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to represent physicians-in-training on the Council on Graduate Medical Education, an advisory commission to Congress.

Today, she is a practicing attending physician and Director of Patient-Centered Care in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University. A professor of emergency medicine and health policy, she co-leads a new national collaboration on health policy and social mission, and serves as founding director of Who’s My Doctor, a campaign calling for radical transparency in medicine.

Wen has been published in numerous scientific publications including The Lancet, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and British Medical Journal. She writes regular columns for National Public Radio, Huffington Post, Women’s Health Magazine, and Psychology Today. Along with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, she reported from East Africa and wrote for The New York Times.

Dr. Leana Wen has been featured in Time, Newsweek, ABC News, NPR, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the award-winning HBO documentary Reporter. A professional speaker for ten years, she has given three popular TED talks, and lectures around the U.S. and internationally on patient-centered care and healthcare reform.

To book Leana Wen call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.

The Low-Tech Revolution to Healthcare Reform
Based Dr. Wen’s popular TED talk, this is how doctors and patients can bring back low-tech advances that will improve care and reduce cost.

When Doctors Don’t Listen
Dr. Wen talks about why today’s doctors aren’t listening and what you can do to become an empowered patient.

Turning Fear Inside Out
In this talk that draws upon her experiences of overcoming a disabling speech impediment and her research into sickness and crisis, Dr. Wen uncovers surprising insights about facing fear and presents three tips for turning fear inside out.

A Call to Action for Young People to Join the “World’s Fight”
Dr. Wen urges students to find and pursue their passion. She demonstrates how other young people have made a difference and presents an action plan for each person to take action today.

Meaningful Patient Empowerment in the Era of Healthcare Reform
Healthcare reform and patient-centered care are all the buzz, but what does patient empowerment look like? Dr. Wen tailors this talk to patient groups, hospitals, insurance groups and more.

How Can the Story Save Your Life?
Dr. Wen talks about the art of the patient narrative and how the story is critical to informing diagnosis and transforming policy.

What Does Healthcare Dystopia Look Like?
Based on her research and a recent TED talk, Dr. Wen presents a chilling perspective of a dystopic world, and what can be done to prevent it.

Leadership Lessons from the E.R.
Tailored to every group, Dr. Wen speaks about leadership lessons for youth, community groups, advocacy organizations and corporate groups, inspired by real-life patient stories from the E.R.

California State University, Los Angeles

Dr. Wen’s passion for helping people underlines her actions and led her to speak up when she sees a need for change, one of the many reasons for writing her book. She serves as a wonderful example to us all for what a true physician should be like: honest, caring, and trustworthy.

MPA, Strategic Alliance & Initiatives Director

Dr. Wen is an extraordinary speaker. From the moment she uttered her first word, she captured the audience. She is both articulate with her words and knowledgeable about the topics she is discussing. In addition, she is passionate about her work and compassionate with the audience she is addressing. Last month, we had the pleasure of having Dr. Wen speak at our organization’s annual national patient conference. Her knowledge and tone earned her some of the highest audience ratings of any of our conference speakers. Without a doubt, I would highly recommend Dr. Wen as a speaker and look forward to the opportunity to work with her again in the future.

NextBillion

Leana is one of the best public speakers I’ve seen. She really knows how to use narrative to convey information. Her presentations at the Unite for Sight Conference are finely crafted, using brief, compelling stories (and some surprising twists) to make serious points - without ever losing the audience's attention. And unlike many speakers, she seems to be truly enjoying herself on stage.

University of California, Davis

Dr. Wen is an extremely knowledgeable and passionate doctor, who is committed to her message to transform physician-patient interactions. I enjoyed her enthusiasm, her stories and the overall approach in her presentation. She was one of my favorite speakers to come speak to our club, in all of the 4 years that I have been at UC Davis. I know many future physicians can learn from her and the message she is trying to evoke, while having fun at the same time. We would love to have her come back!
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