Some things in medicine need to be fast. If you are having a heart attack, then your medical care better be efficient and quick; the rapid identification and diagnosis of a blocked coronary artery and immediate stent placement in it will save your life. Fast medicine we all know and appreciate. There is a place for fast medicine in our lives, playing an important role in our emergency care. However, too much of medical care these days is done at one set speed: fast. Even when our lives are not at stake and there is no emergency at hand, the care we receive is too rapid and too quick to diagnose the problems at hand. We are left feeling like we have not been heard and seen, confused by the quick diagnoses and treatment plans.
Most things in medicine need to be slow. Many of our health problems are “chronic” in nature, meaning they have been with us for some time and we need help in understanding and managing them, and if at all possible, relieving them, and remotely curing them. We want to be heard and seen foremost, which requires the careful, attentive listening ear of the caregiver. We want our medical information to be attentively reviewed and clearly explained. We want our medications and supplements evaluated with care with an eye towards what might be harming us more than helping us. And the health problems that we have require a slow, organic care over time to change and evolve as we make the slow changes in our lives and health behaviors that influence them. These types of health problems do best with a “slow medicine” approach that begins with careful, attentive listening and views them in this organic, evolving perspective.
Links to learn more:
Slow Medicine; The Way to Healing by Victoria Sweet, MD