On Primary Care

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NaBloPoMo 2016, Letters to Pateints, Day 2

To Those Who Disdain Primary Care:

Maybe you don’t know what you’re missing.

“I don’t need a doctor, I never get sick.”  And yet, optimum health means so much more than the absence of illness.  I am called to steward your health as a whole person.  I value the chance to know you as such.  I seek to understand your temperament, your history, your past experiences, and how they influence your current perceptions and choices.  That is how I help you optimize your health—by reflecting your own patterns back to you, so you may determine how they serve you, and when they need updating.

So often our daily routines take the path of least resistance, like spring runoff tumbling inevitably downhill between the rocks and shrub roots of a mountainside.  Without attention and navigation, topsoil erodes and the landscape can get disorganized, unstable.  But with some intention and guidance, we can channel your energy and activities toward the mighty river of health.  There your strengths and motivation preserve the ecosystem that is your best you, for the long journey of life.

As a general internist, I have the privilege of getting the first call when something takes you down.  I get to hear the story first, to initiate the investigation.  If I know you already, I can apply history and context in the most personalized way.  Together we can examine and understand the mudslide triggers (there’s almost always at least one).  We can make an appropriate plan to slow the erosion, and then rebuild.  With each episode, our tools sharpen.  We become a team.

I relish the chance to help you dig deeper into your own capacities for self-care.  Each encounter is an opportunity to share and connect, in service of your long term health.  I want you to live not just to be an old man or woman, but a STRONG old man or woman.

But to do that, I need to know you starting now.  I need to connect with you early and often, in good times and bad.  It’s a relationship like any other.  I can’t help unless I see, hear, and understand.  There is no substitute for time and contact.  So think about it.  I’m here to help.

8 thoughts on “On Primary Care

  1. Great piece, Cathy. I read this and think about the number of times per day I hear, “My new primary care doctor is (name) because my insurance changed.” Sometimes followed by, “And it’s changing again next year because we have to switch to (another carrier) in January.” Ugh, these things frustrate me beyond words. Keep up the good fight!

    Liked by 1 person

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