Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Family Medicine Activist: Head, Heart and Healing
When you see your Family Physician for a problem, it usually is affecting your living, learning, working or loving. Your doctor responds to the facts of the situation with a medical analysis and recommendation. This part of the response is from the physician's head, providing an intellectual interaction about your circumstances and your story. This alone is the content that the business side of medicine, including the billing and paying part, expects to happen.
The Family Physician, however, knows that the impact on your living, learning, working or loving is equal to or more important than the clinical facts and plan. In the context of a continuing relationship with your doctor, they relate to the context of your situation in the broader sense of the meaning of your illness. What does it keep you away from doing, having or being? What have you lost or do you fear the loss of as a result of this situation? Who can you love or not love as a result of this illness?
These matters matter to you and you have a desire to get a response about them from your physician. The information from the head of your doctor takes care of the factual items. The heart of your physician responds to the matters of your heart for the other items. This heart based caring may come through the five senses in many ways. A look, a touch, or a word with a certain tone may convey an extra message from the heart.
You know you'll get a head based response from your doctor about your illness or situation. You hope you'll also get comfort in your heart about it from your doctor. Hearts may help with the broader sense of healing one gets through the experience of an illness more than heads. Your Family Physician is your ally in seeking healing through your health experiences, both through the head and the heart.
What do you think?