By: Corey Howard, MD, FACP
Have you ever felt like a number when you went to your doctors office or the emergency room?
I know I have. A few months ago I brought my 13 year old son to a specialist. During that visit he was evaluated by a physician’s assistant who had his head buried in his computer and his back to my son and I the entire visit until he turned around, looked at his arm, and said he would be right back. That is an example of Impersonal Medicine and is, unfortunately, becoming more common in healthcare today.
Personalized care is when your doctor looks at you during your visit, really listens to your story and follows up with appropriate questions and possibly tests. Once results are available your doctor creates a personalized plan based on your goals to help you achieve optimal health. Today, this is the kind of caring that is needed to improve health and add life to your years.
Most problems we face are due to our lifestyle choices. Yes, your personal behaviors have a direct effect on how healthy you are. I am not just taking about your diet, which plays an enormous role, but your sleep patterns, environmental toxins you are exposed to, how much you exercise and how much stress you have in your life. EVERYONE has some elements of these areas which ultimately lead to chronic diseases.
We can do better. That’s right, we can. Each of us need to be more proactive than reactive with our health. We need to put HEALTH into our health banks to protect our brains, hearts , prevent diabetes and even cancers. The reality is that most people never think of this until it is too late. It’s called the Niagra syndrome (I learned this from Tony Robbins). It goes like this: Most people jump into the river of life and just “go with the flow”.
Does this describe you? If so, read on. Everything seems to be going pretty well until you reach the falls. Then you look at what is ahead and start to paddle your way to safety. Maybe you can or maybe you just go over the edge. An example is heart disease. This is something that really is preventable. However, almost 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, do not exercise and live under enormous stress. Those factors lead to your first heart attack (like going over the falls) at which time you see that you should take better care of yourself. Why do we need to wait until the fall or that major life event to take better care of ourselves? Why not reach for and demand better health right now?
The problem is the system. It focuses on a disease based model and that is how insurance companies as well as the government pay healthcare professionals. It does not have to be that way. In my practice I focus on one person, you, at a time and spend the necessary time to make sure your story is well understood. Then I will order tests that will take a look at your nutritional status, metabolism, check your intestinal health as well as your hormones, especially the hormones that regulate stress and sleep. From that information you and I create a plan that is ultimately up to you to follow. In addition to creating the plan I personally coach you, improving your health through better habits. Each of you is a complex system that requires expertise to help you reach optimal health. You must find the right kind of physician that has a true holistic approach while combining evidence based science, traditional approaches to problems, with a special interest in treating the cause of disease, namely the lifestyle choices we make.
It’s up to you. You have to take charge of your health. I am happy to talk with you and see if a personalized approach is right for you. I look forward to speaking with you.
Dr Corey Howard is board certified in Internal Medicine, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition and Anti-aging and Regenerative medicine. He also has specialized training in Plant based cooking. His unique office setting includes a functional kitchen and yoga studio. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1048 Goodlette Road, Suite 101, Naples, FL 34012 . 239-325-6504 . www.physicianslifecenters.com