This site is intended to be an easily navigable resource for primary care physicians to quickly access evidence-based preventive health strategies. It is built on the premise that we can be doing more for our patients than writing them prescriptions, with the recognition that patients want more from their trusted health care providers than just a drug to stabilize their disease.
The website’s primary focus will be on the health benefits of dietary and exercise intervention, although it will be developed further to include stress management, mental health issues, addictions, and others. The goal is to give you meaningful introductions that can be read in a minute or so, with, links to expand your reading as time and interest allows. There is much to know.
Given that this site will always be a work in progress, check back regularly. And we welcome all of you to participate, and contribute to making this site the best resource to help our community to become the healthiest anywhere.
A paradigm shift in the delivery of health care is not for the faint of heart, even for physicians–it is easier to provide health care delivery as per a fee schedule, as an industrialized, mechanized formula. But are we really providing good health care? Are your patients happy with the state of their health, and what you have done for them? Or could you be providing more? Can we become proactive, not just reactive?
Defining what health is may help to clarify the answer to this question. The word “health” has an old English root, which means “tobe whole”, “to be complete”, or “to be well”. So, are we enabling people to be well? Do you do that with a prescription pad?
Consider how the World Health Organization defined health, as per their founding documents, as of April 7, 1948: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not just the absence of disease or infirmity”. So, for our patients, who trust in us to guide them to healthy lives, we could ask, how well are we delivering health, based on this definition.
BMJ (Huber et al, 2011): Health: “The capacity of an individual or community to adapt and self manage in the face of physical, mental and social challenges.” (Notice the lack of the word “illness”). Essentially we need to help our patients find “wellness”, and enhance their capacity to pursue a full life, proactively. We all want to age “successfully”…. Doctors, their families, and their patients.
It will take courage, vision, creativity, humility, a strong sense of urgency, and resources to reinvent our local health care system. Do we have what it takes? Or do we let someone else lead us? In the USA, several groups have already assembled with a vision of what better health care looks like. Consider the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, The Institute for Functional Medicine, or the Ancestral Health Society. And there are others. Better health bloggers now number in the thousands, and cover a wide variety of perspectives. Some of the better ones are listed here.