Reflecting on our lives and future careers through a different lens

Experience from the 24th International Conference on Integrated Care

Before attending the International Conference on Integrated Care (ICIC24), we thought of health care providers as independent healers. However, following an 8-hour flight from Canada to Ireland, our perspectives changed for the better.

Our names are Justin and Olivia, and we both recently finished our undergraduate degrees in Kinesiology and Psychology at Western University, in London Ontario. Our career interests are in healthcare and education. Initially, we viewed our future roles through an individualistic lens – a patient or student comes to you with a problem or conflict, and you help to fix that issue alone. After listening to various speakers and engaging in conversations at ICIC, our mindsets were challenged. We began to reflect on our lives and future careers through a different lens. One main concept that began to shift our views, was the idea that team-based integrated care may be a more effective approach for caring for people. This integrated care approach would aim to establish better connections and coordination within the healthcare system to overcome the fragmentation of healthcare services.

Reflecting on presentations observed, and conversations we had with experts at ICIC, we are both eager to implement these learnings in our respective careers. In healthcare, we envision achieving this by treating a patient in their entirety, instead of solely focussing on treating the patient’s illness. Working to improve collaboration between different healthcare providers and teams, and focussing on a holistic approach can maximize patient outcomes. Furthermore, we are passionate about educating those around us in our respective fields of interest. By sharing our experiences with supervisors and colleagues, we hope to inspire professionals to adopt an integrated approach, ultimately improving outcomes for individuals across various settings.

We believe that ICIC was an educational experience that was a privilege and true honor to attend. The insights gained from this conference were invaluable, offering a comprehensive understanding of integrated care and its potential to revolutionize healthcare systems globally. We would like to express our gratitude to be able to attend ICIC 2024. The experience that we gained at ICIC will guide us on our journey from individualistic practices to the endless possibilities of an integrated, team-based approach.

Justin Levinsky, BSc
Honours Specialization Kinesiology
Ontario, Canada
Olivia Waxman, BA
Honours Specialization Psychology
Ontario, Canada