"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Where does Medicine go from here? Are we going holistic?

What now?

‘It’s time we heed the symptoms indicating that our medical system is dangerously out of balance,’ says Joan Borysenko. ‘Modern technology is marvelous and lifesaving, and if we can integrate it with the deep wisdom of the past then we can birth a medicine that exalts and nurtures rather than one that is predicated on the fear of death.’(1)

I truly hope we are at the dawn of a new paradigm in the history of medicine: that we are entering an era where the spiritual healing needs of the patient can be met alongside both alternative and complementary therapies and the very best of the latest clinical medicine. 

There are certainly pockets of excellence across the healthcare establishments, for example the Integrative Medical Clinic of Santa Rosa, California, (2) is at the very forefront of this exciting new world of enlightened healthcare. As in so many fields the UK will in due course follow the lead of America in the full recognition of truly holistic healthcare that is available for all. But much work needs to be done.

At the beginning of this new millennium the American Association of Medical Colleges challenged all North American medical schools to update the teaching of their clinical medicine curricula (3). What progress have we seen a decade later? I shall return to this in the New Year…


(1) Joan Borysenko, ‘Putting the Soul Back in Medicine’ article as chapter 4 in The Health Distinctions of Wealth – compiled by Dawson Church

(2) Integrative Medical Clinic, Santa Rosa.

(3)  McGill in Focus, Medicine Edition, Autumn 2004 Newsletter of McGill University Faculty of Medicine Montreal, article, ‘A Curriculum for the New Century: Donald Boudreau’s Legacy.

For further reading see David J. Hufford, ‘An analysis of the field of spirituality, religion and health.’ At Founded in 1997, Metanexus “fosters a growing international network of individuals and groups exploring the dynamic interface between cosmos, nature and culture.”

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