There is a movement underfoot in our country that is provocative and exposing. Our shadow is up and it is unraveling itself in all of our institutions. When I left the medical system at age 36, I did so because the corporate intent that I was expected to enable – sick care, felt ‘unethical’ to me. Sick care was not what I was trained to serve. It was not what my heart and soul went into medicine for. But it was required of me by the medical system to generate profit. I was required to keep people sick in order to keep my job.
Deep inside, I knew I was a problem solver. This is what I loved about Internal Medicine. I wanted to uncover the causes of symptoms and ease suffering by working with people to figure out the causes for their illness and how to tap into it to find solutions with them. If our premise is that life is full of precision, then we should be able to figure out the purpose and meaning behind our symptoms and suffering. Our suffering can also help us become real. It has an alchemical effect on our ego that strips it from being ‘all knowing’ to becoming a student of life.
I love medicine. It excites me and it stimulates my thinking at many levels. As physicians, we need to use our knowledge from a context that serves the vocation of medicine. We also need to use it responsibly and humanistically. This is what we have lost and must regain in health care today. We must open the currently closed system of medicine while maintaining a high standard-of-care. An open system grows and evolves. A closed system stays stagnant and is based in fear. Today’s health care system uses fear to keep patients coming. Its revenue depends on this.
An open system will of medicine is cost-effective and patient-centered. Its context examines what is wrong but also “what is right about what is wrong”. When we explore symptoms and illness from this framework, we can heal our patients at causal levels. We can use the pathological model within the larger context of a healing model, seeing pathology as a symptom rather than an end.
This context is transforming medicine and evoking health at The Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine. This is a prototype of an ‘open system’. This was a way I could make medicine REAL and restore and reclaim its SOUL. Becoming Real is the calling of our time. This is our collective path. This can transform our medical system and restore it to what it was originally intended to be. This will involve physicians who are open to working from this context and patients who expect it.