“UNDERSTANDING THE NEW PATIENT MODEL”

doctor shaking hands

How often do people express feeling “stressed” to their doctors? This emotion can:

  1. Interfere with sleep

  2. Interfere with appetite

  3. Interfere with emotions

  4. Interfere with energy levels

  5. Interfere with blood pressure elevating it

  6. Interfere with metabolic function

  7. Interfere with immune function

AND MANY OTHER HEALTH AND WELLNESS FACTORS IN LIFE!

How would the traditional medical approach address these symptoms (conditions) resulting from STRESS? After performing an exam and ruling out pathologic causes they would potentially:

  1. Provide medication to help address sleep deprivation

  2. Provide medication to help suppress appetite (if overweight)

  3. Provide an anti-anxiety medication to address the emotions associated with stress

  4. Inject Vitamin B12 to improve energy levels

  5. Provide blood pressure medication to reduce high blood pressure

  6. Provide medication for associated thyroid problems or sugar (diabetic) problems

  7. Provide antibiotics for illnesses

This traditional approach views each symptom (condition) as distinct and separate and offers pharmaceutical remedies to change the outcomes. This model of “health care” has created a chronic state of imbalance and disease that requires ongoing maintenance with necessary adjustments to the quantities and types of medications as well as the need to prescribe compensatory medications to counter unwanted side effects from original prescriptions. Surprisingly, we call this approach to treating symptoms/conditions:

“HEALTH CARE”

BUT, IS THIS TRULY HEALTH CARE OR MORE ACCURATELY A MODEL THAT MAINTAINS THE MANAGEMENT OF DISEASE CARE?

Functional-Medicine-Tree

Health is more complex than a series of symptoms. An emerging field within the health care system is exploring these complexities by integrating the various components that affect the individual’s state of health. For example, instead of prescribing sleeping medication to a patient suffering sleep deprivation, this new type of doctor is spending greater time evaluating the various factors in this person’s life that could result in altered sleeping patterns. Some of these might include:

  1. Relationships (family, marital, friends, etc…)

  2. Work

  3. Dietary deficiencies

  4. Hormonal imbalances

  5. Other lifestyle patterns

By taking the time and exploring the various factors with the patient to discover the underlying ROOT CAUSES for their sleeping disorder, this approach to health care offers greater chances to CORRECT the ACTUAL PROBLEMS rather than MAINTAINING an artificially altered sleeping state which prescription medication alone produces. This new approach requires participation from both physician and patient and requires modifications in the patient’s lifestyle for LONG TERM RESULTS. Although the process requires greater effort on the part of the physician AND patient, the results produce better and safer outcomes without solely relying on medications and their toxic side effects. This approach views the patient in a new light. They are seen as “whole entities” with integrated function rather than body parts and symptoms independent and disassociated from each other.

THIS IS BECOMING THE “NEW” PARADIGM OF HEALTH CARE.

This approach dynamically addresses the ongoing “attacks” the body faces and provides support to help the body adapt to these stresses without artificially taking control over the body’s ability to function. A simple example might be a case of high blood pressure. The traditional approach would prescribe medication to force the body into a state of reduced pressure. This new approach might reveal a toxicity within the body and a compensatory response by the body to increase fluid retention to dilute this toxicity causing an elevated blood pressure. In this case, INCREASING water consumption would help the body reduce excessive bodily fluid retention (through increased urination) resulting in the body returning itself to a normotensive state (normal blood pressure.)Β  In this case, the cause of high blood pressure was the result of increased toxicity in the body and its compensatory response to retain water to safeguard the body. Blood pressure medication would have lowered the pressure, however, would have allowed the toxicity to remain in the body. This is an example of treating the ROOT CAUSE safely and effectively by recognizing the mechanism causing high blood pressure (toxicity in this example) rather than side stepping the investigative analytical component in favor of FORCING A DESIRED MEDICAL OUTCOME. This approach addresses many conditions that currently are solely treated with pharmaceutical solutions.

Most consumers are unaware that differences in “DOCTORING” exists. They assume all doctors attend schools that teach professional health care in the same manner. Commonly the biggest question asked is, “do you participate in my “allowable” network of physicians?” We have been trained by our insurance companies to be more concerned about receiving services based on coverage than the quality of doctors diagnosing our conditions as well as the quality of solutions they offer.

The old model of “health care” (symptoms/condition requiring pharmaceutical remedies in and of themselves) must be re-evaluated by the consumer. It is an inefficient system that has been ineffective at producing healthier outcomes for our population. The United States health care ranking worldwide is approximately 18th in quality and 1st in FINANCIAL COST. We can no longer physically or financially afford this approach. How can we as consumers be part of the solution?

  1. We must be willing to change our attitudes which currently accept this inferior quality of doctoring and treatment.

  2. We must require our doctors to evaluate us as individuals and not lump us together into categories as symptoms/conditions.

  3. Treatments must be based on individual needs that restore the body’s ability to function in a healthy state. This means DISCOVERING THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM rather than simply medicating an outcome that provides “normal” lab values. (EX. CONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR looks good on lab reports, but is NOT the same as NON DIABETIC.)

  4. We must seek open minded doctors more interested in patient outcomes than the quantity of patient visits seen.

  5. We must be willing to ask our doctors (if they don’t offer the advice) what steps we must take upon leaving their office to fulfill OUR RESPONSIBILITY in correcting and maintaining our health.

  6. Most importantly:

WE MUST BEGIN TO VALUE OUR LIVES AND VALUE OUR HEALTH AND ONLY PERMIT THOSE PROFESSIONALS DEDICATED TO SEEKING OUR BEST INTERESTS TO ASSIST US WITH THESE GOALS

.

Sometimes serious topics are better appreciated if the READER is provided an opportunity to smile, therefore, I bring you this in conclusion:

Funny_Doctor_Quotes

 

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15 comments

  1. Yes, I agree!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. After reading many of your posts and responses to mine, I thought you might be able to relate with this new approach to health care. It is so much more comprehensive and effective at restoring health to the body in a manner that’s supportive rather than antagonistic and aggressive.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. absolutely 100%!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This just seems to make more sense. Evaluating the root cause to find permantent solution instead of treating the symptoms. We need all MDs to think this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love to see ALL DOCTORS think this way. Whether it’s chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, dentistry or traditional medicine, we need to step outside of our comfort zone (both professional and FINANCIAL) and view people individually to provide a better quality of care. Our current day business model doesn’t provide the tools or the time to offer this kind of service. Moving in this direction will likely weed out those professionals more interested in self gratification than quality patient care. It’s nice to see an organized shift in this new direction by health care professionals that recognize the value of this approach.

    Like

  4. I’d love to see all doctors think this way too but unfortunately the medical industry is far from this model. I’m reading an interesting book called The Patient’s Playbook by Leslie Michelson. It’s all about taking a very proactive stance to getting the best healthcare for yourself which includes finding the right primary care physician who he calls your quarterback.

    I’m guilty of making picks based on who my network covers but am trying to be more discerning. Your health is too important to leave to just anybody.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope more people feel like you. Many people don’t take the time to consider the importance of their health AND their health care decisions. We seem to take it for granted until interventions are needed to address acute episodes. These seem to create better awareness, but not necessarily motivate significant changes to our lives. I continue to search for the “buttons” to push to help people understand a bigger reality and the importance of modifying unhealthy lifestyles.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. great post and love the cartoon…LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just like to prove that doctors can have a sense of humor too. πŸ˜€

      Like

  6. I am trying to take an integrated approach to my health care. If I’m physically manifesting the symptoms of stress, I examine why and how I can remove sources of stress from my life rather than opting for band-aid solutions.

    I am also trying to focus more on my mental and emotional well-being rather than just my physical fitness. I have started doing yoga and I am mindful throughout my practice. I’m actually present rather than just going through the motions like I used to – huge difference!

    Like

    1. You are beginning to see and experience the BIG PICTURE. I can’t wait to see the impact it is going to have on your amazing life. Ok, I’ll practice what I preach; I will PATIENTLY be watching. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Perfect sense Doc. You seem to be able to explain it in “Cameron speak” which is a definite benefit for me!! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if the concept of “Functional Medicine” has caught on overseas. I’m not certain whether a nationalized form of healthcare accepts a more comprehensive approach to health and disease. It certainly offers many financial benefits to the consumer, but might also interfere with non conventional approaches to viewing health and solutions.
      Regardless of where we live, I think the consumer must begin to take greater responsibility explaining to their physicians the type of services and assistance they need to maintain maximal health. As doctors begin to see the benefits and results their patient’s experience from this new relationship, modifications to traditional health care may gain greater acceptance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. We can all go to the Dr and ask him to find something wrong with us. The thing is to only go when there is a REAL issue and to guide the Dr by listening to the options they offer up starting with the least invasive and the one that takes the most effort from ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A large part of my practice was dedicated to seeing patients without “visible” symptoms. The goal was to keep people healthy rather than to continue to “fix them” as they developed symptoms. It is less costly (financially, physically and emotionally) to maintain health than to recover from disease and pain. These visits “fine tuned” patient lifestyles as well as corrected joint fixation that typically over time causes degenerative changes such as osteoarthritis, disc degeneration and herniation, nerve interference capable of altering brain/organ function including immune system modulation. Many people are unaware of the damaging effects of nerve interference because the body (in many cases) is able to compensate. Function, however, is greatly reduced making it more susceptible to disease and injury.

          Like

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