I recently read a Huffington Post article about the gross neglect by healthcare pertaining to the obesity epidemic.
In many cases rather than focusing on the typical markers for health, i.e. blood pressure, cholesterol, lab results, range of motion, etc; if someone didn’t fit the definition of healthy BMI the physician would immediately prioritize obesity as the diagnosis. This unfortunately has led to a greater level of other undiagnosed or late diagnosed conditions among obese people compared to people that are not obese. Among other things, physical pain, stress and anxiety have been glossed over by a number of practitioners. Further a number of physicians are guilty of a variety of forms of shaming in addition to this neglect.
Promoting shame; not ordering the same labs for all patients presenting the same symptoms; and only viewing one aspect or symptom rather than the whole person is not quality patient care.
Rather than focus on getting people into boxes, perhaps we need to ask bigger questions like: What is health? What is quality of life? What is my duty as a healthcare practitioner? What is quality patient care?
Is quality patient care the absence of any diagnosis codes? Or, is it a more comprehensive and qualitative assessment?
In my practice, patient care is prioritized above all else. To me health isn’t the absence of any diagnosis codes but rather are you living the life you want? Are you able to get up every day and do things that bring you joy? Is pain or illness running your life? In my approach to medicine I don’t promise the absence of illness or pain, I’m not sure anyone can. In my approach, I’m committed to helping people get their life back, whether that’s fully overcoming your illness and pain or learning to live with it, I’m committed to walking the journey along with you.
If Stress, Anxiety or Pain are preventing you from living the life you love, let’s talk. I’m looking to walk with your on your journey back to health rather than looking to simply check boxes.