“Somewhere beyond the endless health-care debates could lie real reform: A future where we – an our doctors – will take a more balanced approach to keeping ourselves well...”There are 4 main parts to this, but today I’ll just address the first...
1) Health care, not disease care
“We don’t have health care: we have disease care.” ~ Mimi Guarneri, director of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
- Our health system is good for emergency care – heart attacks, strokes, trauma, and serious infections – but not great for keeping people healthy in the first place.
- The preventive care provided is not really prevention. Guarneri said, “Prevention isn’t having a mammogram… Prevention is eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in greens and whole grains and exercising.”
- The current fee for service structure reimburses physicians for providing treatment. Physicians should be reimbursed for their time teaching about prevention and lifestyle change.
- Medical schools need to expand their curriculum to teach about nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction. Andrew Weil, founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, said:
“There should be a course on the body’s healing system, on all the mechanisms from DNA on up, by which it can self-diagnose, repair, regenerate, and adapt… It seems odd to me, when you look at the NIH, that there’s really nothing there about health: it’s all about diseases… and that’s representative of what’s off in our whole way of thinking about the body.”