Welcome to Adobe GoLive 5
Appreciative Medicine for Health Care Professionals
Are you a physician or other health care professional who would like to:
- Recapture your enthusiasm for the practice of medicine?
- Empower your patients to become proactive participants in their own health care?
- Guide patients past long-term blocks in their pursuit of wellness?
Join us in implementing Appreciative Medicine, a new paradigm in health care. Read the article below, have a look at our book, and sign up to become part of our soon-to-be network of Appreciative Medicine health care providers.
Alternative Medicine... A New Paradigm for Practitioners
by Tel Franklin, M.D. (printer-friendly version)
Part I: Is Alternative Medicine Really "Alternative"?
That the embracing of "alternative medicine" in the United States and around the globe has brought comfort, healing and good health to literally millions, there is no doubt. However, alternative or complementary integrative health systems are not a true alternative. These holistic approaches utilize non-traditional treatment options, but encompass the same traditional philosophical approach to patient care: the problem-oriented approach.
To offer a true alternative, there needs to be a real paradigm shift. In modern-day complementary health care, there are options for care; holistic treatment modalities that offer a tremendous advantage, especially when used in conjunction with conventional allopathic care. I believe for alternative medicine to be a true alternative, there needs to emerge a new philosophical approach to patient care, a way to redefine health challenges and an innovative change in the patient doctor relationship. The "framework" or the "approach" requires a transformationa rebirth that brings forth a relationship based upon mutual trust, collaboration and most importantly a "partnership." This creative dialogue will usher in a new era of health carecalled Appreciative Medicine.
Part II: Going Beyond Alternative Medicine
We have all questioned our interactions with patients as we walked out of the exam room feeling that perhaps something was missing from a particular patient encounter. Could there be a more constructive way to interact with patients? I took a course on acupuncture, thinking it might provide some additional insights into patients concerns. But even after integrating medical acupuncture into my traditional allopathic practice, I still felt the need for a more holistic creative dialogue. I attend numerous workshops and seminars, but none offered an alternative approach to patient care.
Now, after a three-year quest for a holistic dialogue, I have developed a true alternative interactive guide for patients: Appreciative Dialogue. This dynamic approach ushers in a new era of health care by restructuring the physician-patient relationship into a patient-centered paradigm. It is a fourpart interactive guide that assists patients through the maze of health care options, while at the same time creating a fundamental change in how they view their health challenges. Appreciative Dialogue also restructures the physicians role into that of a partner, to create new healing dynamics.
Using Appreciative Medicine, patients become proactive, take responsibility, and develop personalized optimal health plans. On a regular schedule, they review their progress with their primary care physicians and critique their goals as they plan the next step. This empowering approach also helps patients and physicians utilize medical technological advances appropriately and to the fullest. Appreciative Dialogue builds on the trusting relationship we have with our patients. It opens the door to a full range of creative and diverse healing strategies, including many alternative medicine options, some of which have become almost routine, such as acupuncture for back pain or a class in yoga to help lower blood pressure.
At the heart of Appreciative Medicine is the individualized healing approach, guided by the patient's own unique positive characteristics, focused on a solution-oriented perspective which leads to optimized healing. Patients access these qualities by journaling, using the Appreciative Dialogue question-and-answer format. This empowering reflection/journaling lends itself to healing for both patients and practitioners. The patient's highlighted answers are reviewed with their health care practitioners, helping to propel the patients beyond previously deemed limitations.
This paradigm shift changes how patients view their health challenges and creates a proactive solution-driven dynamic. As in all new beginnings, we must learn how to implement such a change. It begins with usone patient at a time. Appreciative Medicine is not for all patients, but this extraordinary approach will help fill a gap by creating a bridge that links the entire continuum of health care, ushering in a new era of health care based upon partnerships and health care teams. Best of all. Appreciative Medicine offers a unique opportunity for us to understand and appreciative the uniqueness of our patients, while at the same time recapturing our enthusiasm for the healing arts.
Part III: Appreciative Medicine
Appreciative Medicine offers patients with chronic health challenges a true alternative to the problem-oriented approach. Its based upon Expect A Miracle... You Won't Be Disappointed, 2003.
Appreciative Dialogues is a program for health practitioners and their patients that brings integrated protocols to the goal of optimal health for all concerned. Appreciative Medicine establishes a mutually beneficial dialogue between patient and physician. It allows open exploration of healing options through appreciation of both allopathic-traditional medicine and complementary-alternative disciplines.
The program is based on a comprehensive journal/workbook for individuals to use to determine their visions of wellness, to discover positive solutions for health challenges, and to make personalized "maps" to follow on the journey to optimal health. The physicians role is to review the results of this exploration with the patient, and to create a partnership for health by assisting the patient with an individualized treatment plan.
Appreciative Medicine provides the opportunity for a dialogue between professionals and helps bridge the entire spectrum of health care. It allows the creation of a treatment plan for the individual in a context toward healing and optimal health. This is a cohesive effort that transcends the problem-oriented approach (learn more).
Appreciative Medicine is patient-centered. By completing the question/answer workbook, patients create clear pictures so that the paths they embark upon bring the desire results. Patients are providing both background on their overall lifestyle and clarity about results they wish to achieve. For the physician, this amplifies the conventional history.
While the Appreciative Dialogue question-and-answer format is interactive and empowering for the patient, it also provides health professionals with insight and helps develop a rapport so that a unique and individualized health care plan can be designed.
With their own personal journals, patients have taken time to seriously contemplate and answer questions questions about all areas of their well-being, and complete concise summaries for their physicians. This can make it easier and more effective to formulate treatment plans that patients will actually follow, and to preventatively address situations and conditions that could become challenges later.
Health practitioners benefit by having a tool that provides insight into their patients concerns and overall health. Patients have the opportunity to be proactive. They will have more information and motivation for their health situations, and by completing a comprehensive picture of their health objectives, they "own" their commitments to change and growth, guided by their physicians. They can perceive their physicians more clearly as advisors; mutual respect is established. As individuals continue to make entries in their journals, they can measure positive progress against their initial, "baseline" objectives.
Part IV: Implementation
The implementation of the Appreciative Medicine program is relatively simple:
Physicians and other practitioners in an Appreciative Medicine program are briefed on the use of the Appreciative Dialogue workbook/journal: how to share it with their patients; scheduling "review" conferences; and measuring results.
Select patients are given Appreciative Dialogue workbooks along with introductory letters from their physicians or from the Appreciative Medicine program coordinator explaining the book's use and inviting them to participate.
The patients are asked to complete the basic workbook pages (objectives, modalities to explore, and summary), and bring it to their health care providers for discussion and development of individualized treatment plans.
Sign Up for the Appreciative Medicine Health Care Providers Network
We're in the nascent stages of forming a network of health care practitioners who are interested in using Appreciative Medicine techniques and principles in their practice.
We invite you to sign up here to receive more information about this network as it becomes available.