Without them the system would not work, but they cannot leave as they are trapped in golden handcuffs as employees of large health care groups, which dictate when they work and how many patients they can see. The goal of the sick care system is not health, but ruling out disease and dysfunction, alleviation of symptoms, and discharge from the hospital. Not surprisingly, 9 out of 10 MDs wouldn’t recommend the profession to others and 81% of doctors say they are over-extended or at full capacity.
We need to create a new health care system that aims for giving people what they truly want: real health. This means, “The ability to adapt and self-manage, in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges.” To achieve this goal, we must cultivate global wellness consciousness and transform medicine from a reactive, pharma & surgical based industry focused on pathogenesis (origins of disease) to a personalized, predictive, preventive and participatory practice focused on salutogenesis (origins of health). How will we do this together? First, we need to open people’s minds to what medicine could be and could do. To create healthier habits and change patient behavior we have to give doctors the ability to prescribe the exercise as medicine, sleep as medicine, community as medicine, food as medicine, apps as medicine, wearables as medicine, love as medicine, psychedelics as medicine, and clean air & water as medicine. If we can move the dial from 5% of people to 50% of the population following best practices of wellness we will be healthier, more productive, more fulfilled, live longer and be wealthier.
Reducing the burden of chronic disease and extending healthspan of our population would save society trillions of dollars by reducing the cost of health care and adding millions of healthy, vigorous individuals to the workforce. With more money available for scientific research we would be better funded to find cures for cancer, rare genetic diseases, tissue regeneration, and aging. The doctor-patient relationship would be transformed from paternalistic to a copilot arrangement. Physicians would have sophisticated tools and ample time to spend with their patients. With less chronic disease to care for doctors would more energy to care for themselves and their patients and as a result, patients would have a better experience when they get sick. Together we can create a movement making health optimization a national priority that enables billions of people to live longer, more fulfilling and healthier lives. We envision a world where people live without disease through prevention and proactive measures to maintain health and happiness. In this world chronic disease is no longer our destiny, our growing children are nourished, our young find their path to purpose, we thrive in middle age, our elders are valued, and death is respected. Humanity will come alive and shine.