Dr. Leana Wen

emergency physician, public health leader, patient advocate

Speaker Testimonials of Dr. Leana Wen


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 university, 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!
--Eric Foo, University of California, Davis

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.
--James Militzer, NextBillion

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. 
--Stephanie C. Guiffre, MPA, Strategic Alliance & Initiatives Director, Colon Cancer Alliance

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. --Samantha Chen, California State University, Los Angeles

Having been a trial lawyer, I value communication skills. Dr. Wen delivers powerful messages through her enjoyable presentations. I heard her keynote address to Massachusetts' top health policy makers—her short talk held the room rapt.  With an easy conversational tone, she delivered a substantive message subtly but compellingly. 
--Charles Cobb, Silver Lake Legal, Attorney-At-Law, Massachusetts

Insightful, engaging, informative; this describes the capstone keynote talk given by Dr. Leana Wen at the European Listening and Healthcare Conference in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. A skillful listener and dynamic presenter, Dr. Wen captivated the audience of medical professionals, patients, social science researchers, and caregivers in an interactive exploration of the challenges and opportunities enhanced listening offers. Her prepared remarks were all the more impressive due to her ability to listen, integrate, and synthesize our other speakers’ insights. She is the ideal speaker, a pleasure to work with, personable, intelligent, passionate, and connected. We are grateful she honored our conference with her wisdom
--Jennifer Grau, Conference Organizer and President of Grau Interpersonal Communication

Dr. Wen’s every word is meticulously articulated to create a finesse I have never seen before. She is outstanding, subtly guiding you through a series of events by utilizing and demonstrating exactly what she intends to delineate to her audience. She is empowering in a very unique way, a way that allows her audience to connect to the content of her presentation such that they feel they are part of the presentation themselves. Dr. Wen also has a distinctive way of concluding her presentation; where she conveys a clear purpose of her presentation yet, leaving her audience with an unforgettable perspective to contemplate and relate to their own lives.
--Alpa Bhatt, University of North Texas Health Center

We are thrilled to have Dr. Leana Wen speak annually at Unite For Sight’s Global Health & Innovation Conference, which is the world’s largest global health and social entrepreneurship conference.  She is a phenomenal, compelling speaker who captivates the audience with essential insight and expertise.  I have heard many presenters through the years, and Leana is among the very best.  Many at the Unite For Sight Conference, too, consistently cite Leana’s presentations as the most valuable.  She is, quite simply, an incredible communicator.
--Jennifer Staple Clark, Founder and Chief Executive Officer,
Unite for Sight

At the 2013 FACE AIDS National Conference, Dr. Wen inspired an audience of 80+ high school and college students, encouraging them to become strong advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Leana has a keen sense of audience: she thoughtfully tailors her message to engage effectively with her listeners. Throughout, Leana's use of stories adds authenticity to her message. 
--Claire Gibson, FACE AIDS

"My attention was captured from start to finish listening to Dr. Wen’s presentation at my Rotary Club. Her presentation was one of the most important speeches that I've ever listened to. Dr. Wen’s use of stories and the way she engaged the audience was quite special. She is an authentic speaker who is passionate about her work. I left feeling empowered to be an advocate for my own healthcare."
--Diane Yochelson, Peak Impact LLC Bethesda, Maryland

Dr. Wen is a gifted physician and committed to answer the longstanding challenge of patient-family-doctor-system conflicts. As a family member to a patient, she appreciates the challenges, frustration and vulnerability of the people receiving healthcare. As an ER doctor, she is empathetic to patients, shares her communication skills with peers, and is not afraid of speaking out the common practice or system flaws. As a Rhodes scholar, she is a talented academic and speaker who can integrate research and practice, and effectively educate public and professionals. As a responsible and passionate individual caring for the general public and public policy, she works tirelessly with everyone (public, government, NPO, hospitals, insurance, media and doctors) to promote better healthcare delivery to people in need. Leana is a true heroine and role model to us all, we are glad she came to give Grand Rounds at our hospital and reaching out to us all.
--Gary Huang, MD PhD, Chief Resident, Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center

Dr. Wen received rave reviews from the audience at our Empowering Healthcare Consumers conference. She zeroed in like a laser on how critical it is for patients and doctors to talk first before embarking on tests or treatments.  She does this with a crisp and poignant delivery of true-life stories that resonate with all of us who have ever been healthcare patients.
--Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary, Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Dr. Wen is a powerful and moving speaker who taught me, as a pre-med student, how to be a leader of service. Through her lecture on Leadership in Medicine, she made me to really think about why I want to be a physician and what it means to serve. Her lecture challenged me to unpack the real meaning of being a leader and has helped inspire the kind of doctor I want to be in the future.
--Reyn Kenyon, Seattle Pacific University

Dr. Wen is an amazing public speaker who I’ve had the privilege of listening to at the UC Davis Pre-Health & Pre-Medical National Conference. She not only captured audience’s attention through her own personal stories, but also raised questions that challenged one’s thinking. As a pre-med, her speech has pushed me to be an even better leader within my community, and refined my understanding of why I am pursuing a career in medicine.
--Mark Freeman II, Sacramento State College

Dr. Wen not only presents her ideas in a clear and accessible way when she speaks, but her honest and straightforward manner connects her to the audience in a way few people are able to achieve. She is a consummate professional and a pleasure to work with. Dr. Wen will dazzle any crowd with her warm delivery and the depth and breath of her ideas.  
--Alyssa Picchini Schaffer, Founder, Science Communication Consulting

Dr. Wen is both an incredibly accomplished physician and a truly engaging public speaker. When she presents, her words are not only insightful and personal, but highly actionable as well. She challenges conventional wisdom and gives her audience simple recommendations to improve their doctor-patient relationships, and ultimately their health outcomes. I hope she continues writing, speaking, and helping patients everywhere!
—Seth Lawton, Best Doctors, Inc.


I want to thank Dr. Wen for coming to the Sandwich Public Library to talk about her book. I'm so grateful that she came--and I know that everyone who attended felt the same way. Dr. Wen has a mission and shared it so knowledgeably, passionately and compassionately. We all left the library with a better understanding of how to play a more active role in our own health care in the future.
--Vicky Titcomb, owner of Titcomb’s Bookshop

Dr. Wen is a captivating speaker and her use of personal anecdotes grasps the attention of her audience. She explained the intricacies of the health care system today and what needs to be done to correct that. She has inspired me and many others to become attentive doctors that truly listen to their patients in order to provide them with the best possible care.
--Gianna Peralta, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Wen has been a patient, a caregiver, a physician and a transparency advocate. By sharing her varied experiences, she is able to discuss the realities of our current healthcare system with a refreshing honesty that resonates with a variety of audiences. She presents steps which patients and providers alike can take to transform health care as we know it. Dr. Wen delivers a message of hope for a better health care in the United States and her words empower the audience to join her in working toward putting the care back in healthcare. 
–Alina Czekai,
The Leapfrog Group

Dr. Wen was a pleasure to work with from the beginning of our contact with her through the delivery of her program. She conveyed her message about individual responsibility in the doctor-patient relationship in a positive, nonjudgmental manner, offering suggestions to facilitate clear communications. The audience found her to be personable and responsive to their concerns. I would definitely recommend her as a speaker to any group—especially those who may feel a bit intimidated by medical professionals.
--Camilla Ayers, Rockport Public LIbrary

Dr. Leana Wen's incredible understanding of leadership has helped improve one of my best qualities. I am constantly trying to learn new skills to add to those that I have learned over the years. By inspiring more pre-med students, she is improving the future of healthcare.
--Erica Razon, University of California, Riverside

Hearing Dr. Wen speak reminded me why my passion lies in the pursuit of global health equity. She brought marvelous insight to her work with a skilled method of specializing the subject for her audience. Every student felt empowered and revitalized to hear of her work, and she remained sincere and captivating throughout. Her work is necessary and her outreach extremely relevant. 
--Emily Drewry, Northwestern University

I have seen Dr. Wen speak at two conferences, and each time, she was inspiring, charismatic, and passionate about the power of an individual's narrative. It resonated with me and made me realize the importance of going back to the basics. That is, how a patient's personal story can transform his medical care and his interpersonal relationship with his physician.
--Stacy Songco, Alameda County Health Pipeline Partnership


Dr. Wen is thoughtful, thorough and knowledgeable about the topics on which she speaks. She engages audiences and it is evident that she loves to help empower people and encourage them to play an active role in their own health advocacy.
--Rachel Brooks, St. Louis Public Library


Dr. Wen's presentation was compelling and inspiring.  She has a wonderful speaking style, and her message about the critical partnership between the physician and patient is timely and so very important in today's healthcare environment. Her message will certainly contribute greatly to creating a more patient centered healthcare system.
--Carol Santalucia, President, Society of Healthcare Consumer Advocacy

I brought a group of students to the Harvard Medical School’s Countway Library to hear Dr. Wen’s talk about her book. Before the talk I was worried because my students are English as a second language students who are mostly new to the U.S. I was worried that the talk would be over their heads and that the doctor giving the talk would be unapproachable to them. This fear was erased from my mind when Dr. Wen warmly greeted my students before the lecture began and spoke with a few of them individually. The stories that she shared during her talk were powerful illustrations of what happens when doctors don’t listen, and my students, who are preparing to be health care providers, were deeply inspired by these stories.
--Elizabeth Baertlein, MCPHS University

Dr. Leana Wen was an amazing speaker. She truly was an inspiration to pre-medical students like myself to become better future physicians. She told us, "I wasn't looking for doing all of this. I was just trying to make a difference." This statement greatly inspired me to continue on doing everything with a passion. I will forever keep this statement in the back of my mind and continue to do what makes me happy.
--Christine Vong, California State University, Sacramento
Dr. Wen’s presentation on a Case-Based Approach to Health Policy was one of the most useful lunch talks I’ve been to, in terms of providing high-impact, actionable things that we can do to substantively improve the care of patients.
--Jean Junior, Harvard Medical School

I found Dr. Wen’s presentation to my pre-medical fraternity both enlightening and motivating. Hearing about the unfortunate experience that she faced with the loss of your mother touched me deeply and showed me how important it is to make a change now with the doctor-patient disparity… It is from hearing her amazing stories that I will continue to stay motivated in my long quest to become a doctor. I thank Dr. Wen for the amazing stories and the wonderful chance to speak with her in person.
--Cameron Geller, Phi Delta Epsilon, Cal State University, Northridge

Put simply, Dr. Wen is the kind of speaker who makes you think about the world differently after you've listened to her. She is dynamic and interesting, with a particular knack for explaining very complicated ideas in a way that makes you feel like you're almost as much of an expert on them as she is. In a world where conversation around healthcare is increasingly reduced to dollars and cents, she is able to open your eyes to what it means to treat a patient, a human being with their own unique individual background, condition and story. The world needs more doctors like Dr. Wen, and more people need to hear, and heed, her compelling message.
--Evan Falchuk, Candidate for Massachusetts Governor

Dr. Wen gave an excellent presentation on pursuing a career in international emergency medicine at the 2013 American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s Scientific Assembly. She inspired the students in the audience with her emphasis on the power of narrative and offered practical advice on how to seek opportunities in global health. The story of her journey to a fruitful career international emergency medicine and her passion for patient advocacy will reverberate with any young professional seeking a way to impact the world in a positive way.
--Mary Calderone, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

I was very inspired when Dr. Wen talked about doctors who not only excel academically, but who listen to their patients and their stories. I thank her for encouraging me to never let anyone discourage me from my goal. I will continue to follow my dreams of becoming a compassionate doctor who makes differences in patients' lives everyday.
--Ashley Su, California State University, Los Angeles

Hearing Dr. Wen speak shed light on the vitality of actually listening to the patient, without preoccupation or our attention divided. Much of our training turns us into efficient agents of healing, yet somewhere in that we lose sight of understanding the patient as a person and not just a manifestation of their symptoms. Her presence truly drives this point home in a fashion that goes beyond simply giving advice, but emphasizing patient narratives as a necessity.
--Navid Ajabshir, Florida International University College of Medicine

As a pre-med Biochemistry major, I would love to thank Dr. Leana Wen for speaking. Her speech was inspirational and her book clarifying. Her passion has motivated me and provided valuable insights into the importance of patient-doctor relationships.
--Cassandra Dao, California State University, Los Angeles

It was amazing to witness how Dr. Wen’s messages hit home for and impacted so many students (including me) and their families. I admire how she is able to engage and connect with her audience through very relevant and powerful anecdotes. The points she made in her lectures and in her book, “When Doctors Don’t Listen,” are what my own mother repeatedly stresses for me to be aware of or practice as a patient and/or doctor since she is all too familiar with the doctor-patient disconnect.
--Diana Yang
, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Leana Wen is truly an inspiration. I know firsthand the difficulties patients can encounter in communicating with health care professionals when my mother underwent surgery a few years ago. As an aspiring physician, I have been inspired by Dr. Wen to stay true to myself and find a way to be the physician who will walk alongside my patients through the healing process.
--Tori Chee, Albany Medical College

Dr. Wen provided a refreshingly unique talk on patient-centered care that left everyone in the audience inspired to become better physicians. By challenging the audience to actively listen and not just follow diagnostic algorithms, Dr. Wen provided insight that students at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine will not soon forget.
--Wesley Ghasem, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

We just had Dr. Leana Wen speak to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club.  She was very well received by the club. A number of club members came up to me after the meeting to tell me how much they enjoyed her talk and what a good choice she was as a speaker.  Dr. Wen was surrounded by folks clamoring to talk with her for more than 30 minutes after the talk. Dr. Leana Wen is a speaker that you can’t go wrong with.
--Mark Scott, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club speaker chair
 
During her presentation at UC Davis, Dr. Leana Wen said "if you really want something, you will be able to get it. If you are told it's impossible, talk to someone else because there will be another way to get there". As I continue to pursue my passion for medicine and healthcare, I will remember these words. Dr. Wen is a very inspiring speaker, full of heartfelt insight.
--Tamanna Noyon, University of California, Davis

Dr. Wen's perspective generated conversations around what paths students could envision for themselves in global health.  We all appreciated the flexibility Dr. Wen showed in shaping her talk to address the specific student interests in global health, writing, and policy that were collected at the beginning.
--Jessie Liu, Stanford University School of Medicine


Dr. Wen’s talk really helped me decide what was important to me and what I really needed to know as I went into medical school. She helped me understand that being compassionate is just as important as just being knowledgeable. She helped provide a valuable insight into my future career and I was very grateful to the opportunity to listen to her speak.
--Manasvi Pinnamaneni, Cal State L.A.

Dr. Leana Wen is a powerful presenter, who speaks with insight and clarity about the ways in which we can become empowered about our health. Dr. Wen inspires us to transform the medical system through our personal interaction with our physicians, and she tells us how to go about doing this in her book.  Dr. Wen is a rarity—a physician who listens carefully and speaks eloquently about the need for patients and physicians to work in partnership.
–Yun Kim, CEO at
Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine

Dr. Wen's talk was particularly relevant for first and second-year medical students at WashU, as most pre-clinical students haven't yet experienced the interplay between social problems and health problems.  Her talk provided a reminder of just how complex patient care can be, and was a salient reminder of the importance of bringing policy to the bedside.
--Vikram Shankar, Washington University School fo Medicine

Dr. Wen's presentation at the FACE AIDS National Conference prepared our students for a weekend of active, thoughtful, and purposeful listening and action. With the use of anecdotes, wit, and smarts, she spun the traditional medical narrative on its head. Instead of focusing on impersonal processes and tests, Dr. Wen advocated for a model of care that puts respect for patients at the center of the work. To say she was a fan favorite is an understatement. Dr. Wen's talk comes with my highest recommendation.
--Austin Carroll Keeley, FACE AIDS

Dr. Wen’s enthusiasm and passion and her obvious commitment to student success shone through as she conversed with the students. They were engaged and attentive and obviously enjoying the dialogue with her. They asked thoughtful questions which she handled very well, turning much of the conversation into “teachable moments.” I thoroughly enjoyed seeing “our very own” Dr. Wen again, and look forward to further return visits to our campus.
--Ken Ryan, STEM Librarian, Cal State University L.A.

Dr. Wen's presentation highlighted tangible ways in which students can become involved now in global health work, and her inspirational stories as well as her message regarding the role of narrative in medicine really resonated with those in the audience.  Any future health care professional seeking to explore what it means to work in global health or how to reach the public through writing should definitely listen to her talk.
--Michelle Rose Meyer, University of California, San Francisco

I truly enjoyed Dr. Wen's talk! She emphasized a simple, but effective perspective of how to improve medicine. As a future physician, I hope to be able to incorporate her ideas to help my patients.
--Jessica Paz, University of California, Davis School of Medicine

Our Rotary Club really enjoyed meeting and talking with Dr. Wen.  As we discussed “When Doctors Don’t Listen” we had some really interesting discussions about our interactions with Doctors and how we can make our time with them more of a partnership (Doctors getting better information from us, us feeling better about how we are being treated). As our organization is active in the Everett community, we also discussed how different backgrounds and language barriers can further complicate interactions between patients and doctors. It was beneficial for our group to meet Dr. Wen, discuss her book and put some more thought into how we can better get doctors to “listen” to us as patients going forward (for us and our loved ones).
--Michael P. Jordan, President, Rotary Club of Everett

Dr. Wen is a very captivating speaker. Her stories are really interesting and make her message more relatable. Overall, I really enjoyed listening to her talk about the importance of patient care and feel motivated to be a better advocate for the patients in the future as a physician.
--Elizabeth McCarthy, University of California, Berkeley

As a pre-medical student, I have often been told that my desire to make a difference in my community and help change the system to better patient care and outcomes is naive thinking and that I will change once I finish medical school. Dr. Wen is the first physician to tell me that I can make a different if I strive to do so and maintain my goals and ideologies. Not only is she a true inspiration for pre-medical students, but a model of how a physician should treat and interact with their patients. Her ability to speak and explain her various viewpoints is outstanding and left a deep impression on me. She not only dispelled a great deal of healthcare issue myths, but provided incite on the true issues pertaining to healthcare and ways to make a difference in the healthcare community, as a physician and as a patient.
--Mellad Khosnood, Cal State University, Northridge

Dr. Wen is a powerful and charismatic speaker who seems to naturally connect to her audience with a warm, relaxed, informative and enjoyable style of speech.  My students were enlightened and entertained. Dr. Wen is a smart, conversational  treat  for the senses.
--Richard S. Maddox, Ed.D, Cal State L.A.

Dr. Wen would be thrilled to speak to your organization! Topics that she speaks on include:
When Doctors Don't Listen
The Power of Listening: 5 Lessons For Aspiring Physicians
Meaningful Patient Engagement in the Era of Healthcare Reform
The Art of the Patient Narrative: Using Narrative to Enhance Diagnosis and Transform Policy
Patient-Centered Care: A Surprising Solution to Today's Healthcare Crisis
How to Be An Empowered Patient and Advocate for Better Health
Top 10 Problems Facing Health Care Today
Social Accountability and the Future of Medical Education
A Young Physician's Perspective on Global Health and How to Get Involved
Emerging Issues in Health Policy: A Case-Based Discussion

To book her please use the “email me” form. For clips of her media appearances and lectures, please visit this page.