Shifting Focus from Illness to Health

Running to the emergency room when a chronic condition blows up or reacting to an illness runs as a common theme in the American healthcare system. We are forced into this emergent care or reaction mode to manage the illness or chronic condition. This is at best an inefficient management model or commonly referred to as ‘treating the symptoms and not the causes’.

We are a smart nation and unfortunately the healthcare system that we have established does not reflect that. Smart people typically do not react to everything, they are proactive and prepared. If the healthcare system is to survive the impending growth of the aging population as baby boomers overwhelmingly turn to mid-sixties, it has to take on more wisdom.

Let’s move from a reactive to a proactive system. Let us be more concerned with our health rather than with illnesses. One of the first steps is to focus on our health. Many experts believe that the future of our healthcare lies in our patients. Patients could change their behavior and attitude towards health and become more proactively engaged instead of passively receiving vital stats. The best healthcare is indeed ‘self care’.Shifting Focus

25 thoughts on “Shifting Focus from Illness to Health

  1. I 100% agree with this. It is important that both individualistically and systematically, we must focus more on primary prevention rather then secondary and tertiary prevention. Healthcare system changes, such as preventing unneeded ER visits and reducing barriers between patients and doctors, will make a great impact.

      1. In the field of public health, there is such a thing. There is primary, which focuses on preventing illness. One way of primary would be repelling mosquitoes. Secondary is early treatment, like anti itch cream or blood test after a bite. Tertiary is late, like treating someone very ill with malaria.

  2. Excellent post and one people should pay attention to. I’ve always said this, you don’t want to wait until you’re in a bad way to try and fix things, you need to try and prevent them happening in the first place where you can. Easier said than done of course.

    1. Yes easier said than implemented I agree with you. Our mindsets by default are more reactive than proactive – it should be a mindset shift. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. It would be way easier to be healthy if there were preventive measures. Food is so chemically “enhanced” that it literally kills people. GMOs. Fortified products. That all causes some side effects whether they manifest as allergies, obesity, cardiovascular or digestive problems.
    However, when illness happens, we have to treat it. There are only that much choices: prevent or treat. I was talking in an article about preventable accidents, but such accidents that cannot be prevented happen, too, just because we were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  4. Thanks for your health-oriented comments. As a family therapist and teacher of family doctors, I know the problem of a disease-only perspective. It’s limiting and distorting. Thanks for your thoughts.

    1. It goes a long way to also start with the positivity of health rather than with the negativity of illness – a lot of it being psychological. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. The affluent with concierge medical care have the kind of care you want. That’s part of the reason that life expectancy in the US is correlated with wealth. Life expectancy for the poor is 72 years; for 1%ers it’s 88.

  6. Yes indeed!!! I agree it’s always best to focus our energies and efforts on our health. My dad did that and lived to 92. What an example!

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