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Fixin' Healthcare

Monday, January 22, 2007

Transformation Of Healthcare - Expectations, Hope, Inspiration, Motivation, Humility

Today even more than in ancient times healthcare involves mystical elements. Some might refer to this as the art of medicine and others might call it wishful thinking. Fear and expectations associated with illness, disease and injury stimulate the need for mystical elements. The human spirit needs hope to generate the inspiration and motivation that are essential for good health. However, it is best to remember that expectations have many sharp edges.

The "medicine man" and "witch doctor" knew a lot about fear and expectations. They often made good use of knowledge about culture and human nature to create desired objectives. Priests and ministers have their methods for dealing with fear and expectations. But, science and technology in the 20th Century have elevated expectations to new heights without comparable attention to the disappointments.

Nothing has changed the culture more than science and technology but human nature remains human nature. The unknown is no less immense, mysterious and daunting even as expectations soar. It is a marketer's dream but it is expectation without soul where demand exceeds need.

The paradox is that diseases have been reduced or eliminated but other health problems have arisen in their place. The irony is that modern medicine can sustain but not cure these chronic problems, which contributes to their rapid expansion in scope and severity. The tragedy is that the public commitment to expectations for modern medicine masks the need for broader and more sustained prevention. This is a situation more in need of transformation than reform.

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