Is Our Thermostat Broken?

What happened to change our medical world, and how do we repair it?

Recently, I read an article searching for a heart-centered fix for the problems with medicine.

In spite of the article’s tone, I was disappointed when I realized the author was essentially placing the blame for Medicine’s disconnect on outside structures.

The author blamed the pharmaceutical companies, government, insurance companies, and the media. You get the drift.

I believe we must look beyond the easy answer of blaming our culture’s institutions. It’s time we look within and ask ourselves the tough question: Why are so many doctors, medical supportive staff and patients discouraged with health care?

It seems to me the solution lies in the attitudes and mindsets of the medical community.

To change the culture of health care, we must start from the inside out.

Each of us has the innate ability to set our own “thermostat.”

Ask yourself who you want to be in each encounter. Do you want to be a thermostat that sets the tone?  Or, do you want to be a thermometer reacting to your environment?

Do you want to allow your surroundings to dictate your actions?

I believe most of us set our thermostats haphazardly. We wake up, start our day, and before we know it, we react to messages, needs or events.

How often do we, as physicians, think, “How can I best serve my patients today?”

My guess is that most of us don’t take the time or energy to truly see, hear and understand our patients.

We may reach out and give one patient more time. Then, we are running behind schedule. That means the next three patients in line need to be rushed through their visits so we can get caught up.

It’s time to realize that each of us can set our own thermostat.

We can reawaken thought, wisdom and positive energy within ourselves each day. That’s our gift to our patients, and to the world.

It’s time to step up and fix our thermostat and step back into our role as healer.

CATEGORIES: Blog on October 8, 2013 by Starla Fitch, M.D.

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