Monday, November 2, 2009

Un-numbed at family medicine conference

After studying to numbness for the past three weeks, it was really wonderful being at the family medicine conference in New York this past weekend. It reaffirmed that family medicine is what I want to do with my life. It’s about relationships. It’s about treating the whole person. It’s about inspiring, motivating, and encouraging. And it’s about service.

I just wish family medicine doctors were more visible. I wish they published more influential research. I wish they made themselves indispensible. One of the speakers said, “Family Medicine is the best kept secret.” But why are we keeping ourselves a secret?

Some favorites from the workshops:

  • "Every time someone asks you to do something, ask yourself if you have room for it and what you’ll take off your plate in order to do it. Say ‘no’ to a bigger ‘yes.’”
  • "How you spend the first hour of each day acts as a rudder to your ship."
  • Only 30% of doctors advise patients about exercise and nutrition.
  • “We should be giving more “thought” and less “care” (treatment). Exercise should be prescribed as a drug, as medicine.”
  • “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
  • “Doctors are trained to fight disease, not prescribe health.”
  • The Magic 6 of Healthy Aging: Don’t smoke. Take to exercise daily. Maintain your weight. Eat close to the earth and sea. Give care and belong. Have moderate alcohol intake (1-2 drinks/day).
  • When running (or any exercise), always focus on learning something to keep from getting bored – have good postural alignment, lean forward (using gravity to move forward, like you’re going down a ski slope), lift heals instead of pushing off, relax your body while running, practice belly breathing (relax the diaphragm, exhale belly-button to your back).

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