(It is my honor to welcome Gregg Hake as today’s guest blogger. He is a dear friend and CEO of my company Energetix. I know you will enjoy his post.)
A number forces are vying for the soul of medicine these days. It wasn’t too long ago that the doctor-patient relationship was central, sacred, and the very heart of medicine. Nowadays it seems that both doctor and patient have to swim against a powerful stream of competing interests just to sit kneecap to kneecap with one another for longer than a few minutes. Why is that? Should we sit back and accept it, especially since we live in a country with the highest per capita health care expenditures and the highest health care spending growth rates in the world?
How did we get here, anyway? When considering the evolution of an industry it can be challenging to pinpoint the most significant factors or events, but in the case of medicine it is clear that the Flexner Report and the system of standardized medical education it catalyzed in the early part of the 1900s had a significant impact on the development of conventional medicine. Evidence-based medicine has since all but choked out a more patient-centered model, and in recent times it has become quite clear that “treating to the mean” is not an entirely effective strategy for dealing with chronic disease.
Conventional medicine offers amazing solutions for acute and emergency care. Where it falls flat is in relation to the care and prevention of chronic disease. Unfortunately, 75% of our health care dollars in the United States are spent on the treatment of chronic disease. So, is there anything else we can do? Fortunately, there is!
Complementary and alternative health care professionals have largely maintained a patient-centered, individualized approach to medicine. Naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and increasingly, integrative medical doctors and nurse practitioners, are working hard to find the golden mean between the art and science of medicine. These health care practitioners have fought tooth and nail to safeguard the doctor-patient relationship and they are continuing to innovate ways to restore the soul of medicine to its rightful place.
In the meantime, conventional medicine is pioneering ways to consolidate and mine patient health data. This data, it is conjectured, will allow more targeted interventions which, in turn, may improve patient outcomes. Add to that fact that conventional doctors still care deeply about their patients—despite the many obstacles to them spending quality time together—and you have a recipe for a giant leap forward if we handle the opportunities at hand with vision and care.
To my mind, both science and art need one another, depend upon one another; and the health of the patients they serve depends upon their ability to communicate, collaborate and innovate without prejudice or pretense to superiority. The soul of medicine depends upon it!
(Gregg Hake is an award-winning blogger, sportsman, and entrepreneur. Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Gregg earned a B.A. degree from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Boston College.Gregg is passionate about helping others to improve their quality of life. His professional life reflects this central mission as he owns and operates several wellness-related companies, including Energetix, Terra Botanica LLC, Anakiri LLC, and The Spa on Green Street.If you are concerned to improve your quality of life, Gregg encourages you to follow his daily blogs on www.gregghake.com!)<
Improve patient outcomes…
just for the health of it!