In the ancient days, most diseases were seen as a part of normal existence and the cure was found in the world around us, in roots and herbs. Serious and disabling diseases were seen as a supernatural occurrence caused by a spell or a god that damaged the victim’s soul, and as such the treatment was to lure the errant soul back to the body while extracting the evil demon by potions, incantations, or other methods.
In those early days, magic, religion, and spirituality played an important role in the medicinal world. In fact, the first “medicine men” were witch doctors or sorcerers. Interestingly, even in ancient times, these primitive physicians showed their wisdom by seeing beyond the physical body by treating the whole person, including the soul.
Throughout history, many notable people have made an incredible impact on medicine, but none as much as Hippocrates known as the “Father of Medicine”. He left behind an incredible legacy of knowledge, but most importantly, an ethical set of principles known as the physician’s oath with an unmistakable message to help and do no harm. The Hippocratic Oath, although written many years ago, still remains an invaluable document from which a noble profession has risen.
As times changed so did the medicine. We shifted from a personal, one-on-one approach, to the new impersonal, corporate practice of medicine we see today. In its wake, this approach has left souls confused and physicians disillusioned. The end product of the modernization of medicine is this new industry known as “healthcare”. One of the most confusing aspects of this evolution is the price tag attached to it. Too many families have been left to navigate this confusing road ridden with obstacles in the form of pre-authorizations, expensive medications, long wait times to receive care, and often more questions than answers.
Through this evolution, we have lost more than just financial and operational control. Along the way, we have lost precious interactions with other human beings, relationships that develop beyond the computer keyboard and the desktop screen. For some of us, losing that was not a price we were willing to pay.
As the pandemic engulfed the world, new cracks in the foundation of modern healthcare became visible. Physicians and individuals alike are now learning to navigate this new world, rediscovering the medicine of old ways and the importance of relationship along the way.
The beauty is in creating an environment where relationships are at the forefront of every interaction, where decisions are driven with the individual soul as an equal partner in mind. There is freedom in the idea of unplugging from the matrix and practicing medicine the way it was always meant to be practiced—with the patient at the forefront.
Physicians and individuals around the world are embarking on this journey, getting back to the basics of health care, and working together to build a better way for our health and for our humanity.