I’m a physician finishing training. Although my training is really good at teaching me to diagnose and to treat, there remains a major chasm between what care physicians are trained to provide and the care the patients need. Even more important is the “overmedicalization” of the patient. A patient is only a patient when they are getting medical care. A patient is always a person. And healthcare should reflect the fact that we are not treating patients but rather helping people be well. As much as I love this documentary and its vision, I’d love to see the language and culture change away from “patient-centeredness” to person-centeredness.
A really promising and exciting segment of the healthcare system that champion this notion of person-centeredness is Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). HCBS providers focus more on function rather than medicine, both of which are essential.
I personally experienced the difference between the what medical and HCBS providers. When I was a young child, my grandmother (picture attached) lived in our home. She had pretty severe Parkinsonism and required daily help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Her home care attendant was instrumental in maintaining my grandma’s autonomy. Watching the positive impact of HCBS on my grandmother and our family forever shaped my understanding of “healthcare” as not just being medical and patient-centered but rather functional and person-centered.
Although progress is being made, we need more multilateral approaches to support person-centeredness including advocacy (please see video attached), technology innovation (my company www.careathand.com), education, and health system redesign. Thank you for this great documentary. Keep up the good fight!