Real health reform (Part 2 of 4): Individualized Care

by Christina on January 5, 2010

2) Individualized care

  • Providers need to see each patient as a unique human being, not simply as a collection of symptoms.
  • This approach requires time and a trusting patient-provider relationship. And, it requires more primary care physicians who are trained to look at the wider picture of a person.
  • Brian Berman, Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland said: 

“Individualization – what’s appropriate for that person at that point in time – is what integrative medicine is really about. Someone may come in with a symptom, say, back pain. Perhaps as you start to talk with her, you realize she’s not satisfied with her job, which is a big predictor of continuing pain. Then you talk further and learn because she hasn’t been able to exercise and play with her children, her self-worth has taken a beating, and she’s been overeating. And because she’s gained weight, she has inflammation within the body that perpetuates that pain,”…  it’s really the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – that is out of balance.” 

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