Patient Centered Care… Slick Marketing Catch-phrase or Way of Being in Medicine?
More than a catch-phase, for me “patient centered care” is the very heart of my practice. As humans we are all the same in many ways, yet different in so many others. Have you noticed this paradox?
We all eat, but we do not digest or tolerate the same foods the same way. We all sleep, and yet some sleep with more restful results than others. In my job, I work to balance what is the same about us all and what is unique about you.
One area where we all are the same is in how we describe emotions: Happy, sad, mad, lonely, angry, jealous, etc. Where we differ is what we do with these emotions. We hit “adult age” with a whole backpack of experiences. These experiences can help and hinder our journey through life according to what we have done with the related emotions.
Another area where we are the same is basic physiology; how we metabolize and use and store sugar. Our “unique physiology,” however, how we store fat, express food cravings, and present with our unique hormone metabolism, are some of the many ways in which we differ.
This paradox is one of the reasons why I am so intent on getting to know you and your story. Your journey is unique. No one knows you better than you. The physical you, mental you, emotional you and energy you, all want to live in harmony. As I like to say, we want them to “dance” together. And if one “you” is off, it affects the whole you.
An Example of Patient Centered Care
When you are overly critical of yourself, you can beat yourself up and lower your self esteem in ways that may not be readily apparent. This low-grade, steady erosion can, over time, evolve into anger. When this anger is turned inward it can create a depression and physical symptoms such as headaches or gastrointestinal issues. The result: You may come into my office exhausted from the poor sleep caused by these symptoms. So you see, it’s more complex than “a pill for insomnia.” On a gut level our patients know this intuitively.
Rarely is an issue strictly a “one item fix.” We humans are much too complex. And your intuition is critical to help navigate your way back to balance with restoration of a sense of wellness and vitality.
Patient Centered Care in a Nutshell
Patient centered care looks at the whole you and engages your self-knowledge, along with objective data from tests and blood-work, to navigate you… back to YOU. I am here to partner with you in this journey. It is music to my ears when you announce that you are back in harmony and feeling like YOU again!
~ Carole Cook, MD
For a patient’s perspective… You are invited to click here