This has been already implemented by NPF's APTT program (Allied Professionals Team Training," whereby three-day teaching conferences are held across the country to train practitioners, always with several panels of persons with PD, and another of caregivers. There are forward-thinking doctors in several states who have begun to invite patients to speak to clinical research or medical students, but this is rare. We applaud them. One head of a Movement Disorder Center in New York City uses a series of one of his patient's poems about her Parkinson's to teach his movement disorder students about the disease, feeling, in his own words, that "the language of poetry is such more eloquent and poignant a teaching tool than a textbook." Indeed, at the PDF.org website, under "Living with Parkinson's" one can find a wealth of writing and art by PD folks living with the disease in a "PDCreativity Gallery." Any teaching physician can include this in required teaching materials.
The PWP Speakers’ Bureau has been designed with the goal of offering sensitivity and awareness training to health care professionals working with the Parkinson’s population, through a speakers’ panel comprised of diverse members of the health care professions who themselves live with the disease. We will attempt to help our listeners and their students to better understand the frustrating and extraordinarily mercurial motor and non-motor issues we face, the uniqueness of each patient’s presentation of this disease, and the lesser-known cognitive challenges we struggle with.