Why “medically based wellness”?
First of all, let me make one thing clear. It is not because we know or think we know everything about wellness. We acknowledge the great value of and learn daily from trainers, wellness coaches, nutrition experts, social scientists, biochemists, journalists and many others. Our VitalSigns trainers are highly skilled and we do not pretend to be able to do their jobs. We do believe, however, that as doctors, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants and registered nurses, we bring a uniquely valuable perspective on wellness and disease prevention based on our training and experience and long-term relationships with our patients. Having realized that close to 80% of what we treat is directly caused by or related closely to lifestyle, we are in a position to make the most difference by not only encouraging but also facilitating behavior change. One of my greatest pleasures in being part of the team at Trinity/VitalSigns is that we’ve become a “learning organization”. We all continually stimulate, challenge and learn from one another in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
What else does “medically based wellness” bring to the table?
As medical providers, we have the special privilege of long term, deep one-on-one relationships with our patients. This is really the core of primary care medicine. In our relationship with patients, we are able to prescribe behavior change regimens and then follow closely to observe changes in labs and physical findings such as weight, body fat, waist circumference and blood pressure. I have witnessed many delightful successes over the years. An overweight, diabetic and very sluggish businessman comes to mind. Having lost 50 lbs., he is now an outdoor enthusiast who looks and feels great, no longer has diabetes and has become an evangelist for wellness in his company.
These are a few of the elements that make up “medically based wellness”. It’s my hope that medicine in the United States and around the world will reform along these lines. Our current system of piling on medications as patients gain weight, lose energy and get sicker is unsustainable. We hope you will join us in this journey.