The Future of Medicine is in the Past

As individuals, as a nation, and as a world, we face a crossroads today in the whole way we approach healthcare. There is growing agreement that the current ways of supporting health are not sustainable.

This view is not based on the controversy in the U.S. over systems for insuring people, but rather on a realization around the world that the way we view disease, treatment, recovery, and prevention is out of order.

Cost Was Just a Signal

The rapid rise in healthcare costs – and the growing percentage of personal and national earnings that it takes up – was just a high-profile signpost of seismic tensions and contradictions that have been growing beneath the surface.

The effectiveness of healthcare measures ranging from new drugs to new procedures and protocols is declining in many cases. As just one example, the journal Health Affairs identified a consistent decline in the incremental effectiveness of new drugs since the 1960s. Physicians, economists, and public servants have begun to observe that the path we are on in healthcare cannot continue in its current direction.

When Every Cure was a Miracle Cure

We are evolving now away from over 70 years of “miracle cures.” The coming of antibiotics to deal rapidly and reliably with bacterial infections in the 1940s, the near eradication of polio though vaccination in the 1950s, and dramatic breakthroughs in surgical procedures in the 1960s led, unfortunately, to a “fix me” era of healthcare.

The balance of roles in healthcare is shifting now to include each person’s own power to affect a healthy course for his or her life through prevention.

Tips for Preventing the Greatest Threats

Fortunately, the greatest threats to our health are among the most preventable. Heart attack and stroke, cancer, and diabetes – all are powerfully influenced by how we live. Yes, there are hereditary factors in each of them, but overwhelmingly the power of health habits to reduce your risk is remarkable.

First and foremost, stop smoking. Smoking has been the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths for generations. If it were easy, we would have solved it by now. One thread runs throughout all the data on quitting: people who get help, like the help of a family physician, are more likely to quit successfully.

Exercise and diet are big preventative answers to heart attack and stroke. The amount of exercise and type of diet that’s right for you depends a lot on you – that’s another reason consulting a family physician is a great first step.

The same goes for diabetes – and the obesity that often leads to it. A life that includes regular exercise and sensible diet is likely to be a longer life.

Though the risk of cancer can be reduced by diet and exercise, early detection is the common denominator in preventing and treating it. The ongoing awareness that leads to early detection can come from an ongoing relationship with a family physician.

And the Same Tips Nurture the Quality of Life Every Day

The bonus that comes with all these tips is feeling better every day. No matter how attractive unhealthy habits might be in the moment, the lasting feeling of confidence, clarity and wellbeing that comes from taking an active part in our own health just feels better. Every single day.

A Cornerstone for Preventative Healthcare

An ongoing relationship with a family physician is the foundation of preventative medicine in the new world of sustainable healthcare. It is the basis around which prevention and detection of every kind can revolve. Why not schedule an appointment with us at Global Family Medicine to begin, and take your rightful place in the future? Call us at 843-815-6468.