We Belong to One Another

Isolation, anxiety, loneliness, addiction, abandonment, estrangement… These are just some of the issues that have consequences everyday both for personal and public health.

In an essay, author and poet Wendell Berry offers this diagnosis: 

In fact, people use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.

How can we find each other again?

How can we restore the aspiration for community and belonging over and against the mediocre and less-satisfying values of autonomy and sheer independence?

This year, the theme of our CPL Annual Conference is: “We Belong to One Another.” Together, during the conference, we will explore how the challenges of belonging and community pertain to the sphere and aims of medicine. 

In addition to a phenomenal speaker lineup, we are also adding a new Colloquium Session during which selected presenters from within the CPL community will be invited to present their research and thinking during the conference for the benefit of the wider community. Do you have an idea that you’d like to share on a panel of presenters during our conference? Perhaps this would be the perfect context for you to play with an idea aloud among friendly colleagues and engaged peers and students. All students, residents, physicians, nurses, midwives, and retired community members are eligible to present a proposal for a presentation for our Sunday morning panel exploring belonging and community in medicine. We welcome a great deal of creativity and look forward to presentations that will also involve a time of robust Q&A. 

The CPL Annual Conference will be held in Vancouver from Friday, October 25th to Sunday, October 27th at the Radisson Blu Hotel. For more information and to register and secure the best early bird rate, visit our website Conference 2024.


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