I graduated from medical school in 1998. I can recall many of the courses that were part of the curriculum. I can also remember, in general terms, many of the ideas that were passed on from our instructors to us. We learned a great deal on numerous subjects, including anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. During our final two years we participated in our clinical rotations, during which we applied much of our newfound knowledge. I was truly fascinated by all of this.
Graduation was followed by residency, where I spent four years as a doctor in training. Then in July of 2002 I started my first “real job” as an attending physician. As a practitioner of conventional medicine, I adhere to the dogmas and concepts that were taught to me as a medical student and that I continue to learn from contemporary medical literature. I know first-hand that many of the treatments offered by conventional medicine can be life-saving interventions.
However, I appreciate the fact that there is another vast body of knowledge related to health and wellness that many modern-day physicians are not aware of. There is so much that people can do to maintain health and prevent illness. With the countless new pharmaceuticals and advances in medical technology that are being developed, it can be almost effortless to abandon any efforts at prevention and just depend on modern medicine to address the problem once it arises. My feeling is that efforts geared towards true prevention and not just disease screening (healthy lifestyle vs. regular colonoscopies) are slowly going to become much more mainstream. Although doctors will be there when needed, it is the individual that must actively participate in maintaining health and wellness. Remember the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”