The Telluride Experience – Not Your Typical Patient Safety Training – Part Two

By Stacey Gonzalez

In my previous blog post, I described the unique immersive experience The Telluride Experience (TTE) program delivers and the profound impact it has had on over 1,000 resident physicians and health science students that have gone through the workshop.  But the immersive environment and varied teaching modalities is only half the story.  

During my time with TTE, I have repeatedly witnessed how deeply personal patient stories and engagement of patient and family advisors throughout the 4-day workshops are essential to truly changing learners’ attitudes and actions. 

Patient stories are incredibly powerful in an industry where patients are often seen as a set of ailments rather than a person.  And while impactful stories have been central to the curriculum since its inception, TTE goes even further.  Imagine hearing a life-altering medical story, and then discussing the event directly with the patient or family member who was (and is) living it every day. 

Patient and family advisors are an invaluable part of our TTE family, and it’s hard to forget after attending that every patient and family member is a valuable part of your healthcare team.

Students learn about leading-edge patient safety topics from internationally renowned leaders at TTE, but (again) it goes even further.  Daily social activities and group outings afford learners additional opportunities with faculty to continue discussions or ask questions.  We often hear how some of the most meaningful lessons occurred one night around a fire pit, or while over a drink at happy hour, which is hard to find at typical programs.

And finally, Telluride Experience alumni are embraced by a community of like-minded colleagues for ongoing support or collaboration long after departing.  But (once more) it goes even further, and that partnership is formed not just among the learners themselves, but with the faculty and patient advocates who remain an email or phone call away. 

We hear from alumni, years later, how TTE helped them improve care and safety at their own institutions or how it changed the way they engage with and care for their patients.  We are proudly entering an era where TTE alumni are returning – this time as faculty members or small group leaders.

Whether you’re reading this as a prospective student, alumni, Dean, administrator, or anyone looking for an exceptional patient safety program, we hope you’ll consider learning more, applying, or supporting our program.  We rely on your word of mouth, referrals, and financial support to continue our mission. 

Additionally, please check out our new book, Shattering the Wall: Imagine Health Care without Preventable Harm, which tells the TTE story through the voices of our faculty and learner reflections.  All book sale profits go directly to supporting scholarships for future students and residents.