If you’ve just arrived as a Pioneer member this is where it all begins. HealthUnlocked is a social network for health advocates like yourself to start an online movement. It’s about reaching other people and pooling together a mixture of information, support and experience to empower and change the lives of others. Most people with similar health interests also have something unique in their own experience that can help others. Everything here is designed to help you unlock the power of the crowd.

Back in 2007 I was a resident surgeon in a leading UK hospital. Our government was launching a series of changes to the way specialist doctors like myself were being accredited, and 99% of us felt it was a damaging step for the nation’s health, harmful both to us and future generations of patients we’d be treating. Big health institutions weren’t interested, so myself and a handful of doctors got together online. We started bringing more and more doctors into the group through the web. At first many thought we were crazy but quickly we became grassroots advocates for a generation of UK doctors, and in a couple of months we had a movement of 15,000 that provided support, inspiration and information to each other. We organized the biggest medical rally in UK history, an ongoing media campaign and, eventually, a high profile legal action. We got the health reforms radically changed for the better. See the article: bit.ly/R3tCM4

I learnt a lot about the immense power of togetherness, so when I joined forces with Jorge (our CEO) to dream up HealthUnlocked one of the main goals we shared was to make creating an online movement easier for inspired health advocates like you. From my own experience the importance of the group pioneers is the key.

That’s why you being here and reading this today is an important moment. In my experience if you can summon up the persistence to connect with other pioneers, create some activity, and trigger the spirit of a community, there’s no end to what you will go on to achieve together.

This 3 minute TED lecture speaks volumes about it

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  • Concerns about the new system, which was introduced in January, came to a head after The Daily Telegraph gave a voice to angry and dismayed junior and senior doctors.

    Organisers said 12,000 took part in the march on Saturday, which made its way from the Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park to the Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln's Inn Fields.

    Mr Cameron was cheered as he described Patricia Hewitt as "the worst Health Secretary in the history of the NHS". He said that the Government's promised review of the issue must be "a proper review not a paper exercise".

    "They made a promise that every junior doctor in England would have a training post," he said. "We are going to hold them to that promise."

    Conservative health spokesman Andrew Lansley, who also attended the rally, said doctors were justifiably angry, adding: "The Daily Telegraph has quite rightly led this campaign in the media."

  • I do agree about the child enriching my family identity... but that seems separate somehow... like the child can "add to" the family identity, but isn't able to "take from". I've always been very interested in genetics, which is perhaps my downfall in this situation. For example my dad's side of the family is totally Ukranian, in fact his dad came over on a boat at age 18, really only spoke Ukranian his whole life, etc... but our last name is German, and my grandfather "looked" German (blond hair etc). So at some point in history with all the changing borders affecting western Ukraine (Austro-Hungarian empire, etc), some German must have crept into the family tree. All of it fascinates me because it has led to "me" (one of my brothers actually inherited my grandfather's looks).