Dr. Kien Vuu
“The Unconventional Prescription: YOU are your best Medicine” Watch Now
3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018

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Meet the Speakers: Dr. Kien Vuu for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

“Don’t be boring… don’t be boring… don’t be boring…”

That’s been my non-stop inner dialogue since I got the incredible news that I’d been accepted to share my idea at TEDxWilmingtonWomen this November.

I mean, Simon Sinek, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee… they make it look so easy!

Don’t get me wrong… I love to joke around, I chat up strangers, and I find ways to get my patients laughing every day.

But there’s something about presenting an idea that’s really close to your heart and close to your soul that’s just… difficult. It’s not easy taking something important to you, that’s also large in scope, and making it succinct, funny, and actionable.

Thankfully, I’ve got a handy list of deadlines to keep me from overthinking this too much. It’s been an incredible experience working through my big idea and hammering it down into something more simple, more powerful, and more helpful to others as I prepare to share it on stage.

I’ve seen firsthand how we are our own best medicine – I’m an Interventional Oncologist and Radiologist. I work with cutting edge technology every day to diagnose and treat patients as they navigate the different stages of life with cancer and chronic disease. But the most powerful, inspirational, miraculous healing that I’ve seen (and personally experienced) hasn’t been because of cutting edge technology. It’s come about because of something deceptively simple and surprisingly profound: tapping into our own unique passion, purpose, and power.

Organizing these experiences in a way that’s captivating and not boring is no small task. But I’m focusing on the audience and that’s helping me craft my message. Because ultimately I believe in this idea. And I believe that the more people understand their own power, the better our health, our quality of life, and our futures will be. Because YOU are your best medicine.

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the TEDx process: Dr. Kien Vuu for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

When I was a kid, I thought I was a pretty good basketball player. I was smaller than the other guys in the neighborhood but I could run between other players, dish assists, and sink basket after basket.

But when I made my high school basketball team, I realized that no matter how many times you’ve done something, you can still learn a way to do it better.

And that’s how I feel about my TEDxWilmington experience so far. I’ve spoken internationally about medicine, purpose, and the healing powers inside each of us. But the TEDx format has pushed me to rethink how I’m sharing my story.

Where I’d focus on covering a lot of statistics and qualifying my claims, I’m trying to focus on how the audience will relate to my idea. Why they will care about the Unconventional Prescription I’ve discovered? Why they might want to begin using it in their lives and how to want to take action?

I’m a goofball by nature and love getting people laughing. While my first approach is often to develop a knee-slapping talk, the TEDx process is helping me dig deeper into the connection between my idea, my experience, and the audience. There may be a few laughs, but I’m focusing on the most impactful way to connect with the audience.

And perhaps the most universal part of my TEDxWilmington experience so far are the drafts or drafts of drafts piling up in the Google Drive. As of today, I believe I’m up to around 23 versions of outlines and script drafts. But each edit brings my idea closer to a new level of clarity – and that clarity will help others relate to and apply my big idea in their lives.

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Dr. Kien Vuu for TEDxWilmington, photograph by Alessandra Nicole for TEDxWilmingtonReflecting: Dr. Kien Vuu for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

Who doesn’t love a surprise?

When I was accepted to speak at TEDxWilmington last November, I had to pinch myself. I couldn’t wait to share my big idea with the TEDx world. I thought that being on the stage, laughing, and hamming it up would be the highlight for me. Growing up, I dreamed of being a comedian or motivational speaker – not a doctor.

But I was in for a surprise. Because the thrill of being on stage wasn’t the best part of my TEDx experience. The best part was actually… the people.

Seeing the audience respond to my idea felt incredible. The questions and insights other speakers came to me with after my talk surprised me and rooted me in the understanding that we are in the middle of a medical paradigm shift. Modern medicine is a miracle. But so is the new knowledge coming into the world about just how powerful we are and how we can use that power to live our most healthy, happy lives.

When I reflect on my experience I remember the countless drafts, revisions, the painful process of applying the pressure of deadlines that transformed my idea into something clear and powerful.

But more than anything, I see faces. I see my coach, my friends, my coworkers who let me practice reading them draft after draft. I see the faces of the other speakers, my new friends, laughing around a table as we share a meal and we share our souls. I see the faces of the audience members laughing and nodding in understanding.

More than fulfilling my personal desire to be a TEDx speaker, I feel like this experience has allowed me to fulfill my purpose of sharing this big idea – you are your best medicine – so that it finds the people who need to hear it.

Thank you, TEDxWilmington, for this opportunity. And thank you to everyone who was a part of sharing this big idea. From the first draft to the end of my talk. Thank you.

Watch Dr. Kien Vuu’s talk HERE.

TEDxWilmingtonWomen 2018, Photograph by Alessandra Nicole


As an infant boat refugee surviving dysentery, Dr. Kien Vuu is a multi-faceted physician carving a distinctive path integrating traditional allopathic approaches with holistic, alternative, and lifestyle medicine.
Dr. Vuu is clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA – David Geffen School of Medicine.  
He has authored numerous scientific peer-reviewed and book chapters, and has spoken all over the world on topics including genomics, molecular imaging, and novel oncologic therapies.  He is also a transformational speaker who speaks on health empowerment and the epigenetics of purpose, community, and laughter.
In his words, his mission is “to elevate the health of the world and assist in the elimination of chronic disease” through the power of media, television, and social media  READ MORE

3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018
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